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The gift of supporting local

ESCANABA — Throughout our waterfront community and beyond you will find businesses and individuals who have chosen the path of entrepreneurship which allows them to personally invest in their community. These small businesses are the heartbeat of our towns and are also those who contribute to our events and fundraisers time and time again.

Sometimes, even when the bricks and mortar of a company is not within our county lines, you still find individuals who are invested in betterment of their “hometown”.

One such business is our newest Chamber Member, UP Authentic, who was approved for membership at the December meeting of the Delta Chamber Board of Directors.

Although located in Tecumseh, MI the Mission of UP Authentic is to help the Upper Peninsula by giving 50% of profits to U.P. charities while providing an e-commerce platform for U.P. artisans and small businesses. Check out the various products offered at upauthentic.com!

When asked why he joined the Chamber, owner Bill Leisenring – a UP Native said, “I look forward to growing this network via my Chamber membership and continuing to grow U.P. Authentic all while promoting the Upper Peninsula”.

U.P. Authentic was one of over 20 businesses whose products were showcased in 800 Christmas Bags that have been given to school educators and personnel, thanks to the “Educationally Essential” project sponsored by the Hannahville Indian Community.

In working on this project, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of pride. It is truly impressive to see all the amazing products that can be found in our small community. What is even more impressive, is the people behind those products who show up day after day to offer area residents the best quality and selection possible.

A week ago, I had the opportunity to hit the streets of Delta County and work on my Christmas Shopping List. Each store I entered had an abundance of offerings and staff that were eager to help me find what I needed all while also being focused on the safety and health of their community members. While it may have not been easy, so many have adapted to the needs of their customers by offering online shopping and curbside pickup.

There are still a few days of shopping left before Christmas. I encourage you to check out our membership listing at deltami.org and stop into one of the many fine businesses to check those last few names off your list. I assure you that the faces that greet you within, will be as happy to see you as the recipient of your gift. This year more than ever, our businesses need our help. Give the gift that keeps on giving, the gift of supporting Local!

— — —

Sheila Krueger is assistant director of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce

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