By Nicole Kleinsteuber
Courtesy of Prince Edward County Voice 
With Christmas just around the corner some shoppers take pride in shopping locally to support businesses and create jobs this season.
“When I need something I can usually find it here so I’m happy to shop locally,” said Heather Ross on her way into Pharma Plus in Picton.
Ross lives in Milford and said she travels to Picton to shop as much as possible.
“I shop here to support local businesses that support the local community,” said Ross.
Ross isn’t the only county resident finding it important to shop in Picton to maintain the local economy.
Sue Baker lives just west of Wellington and she said she shops in Picton as much as she can.
“There are a lot of really great products here and I like to help out local businesses as well,” said Baker while looking at gourmet chocolates in Ten Thousand Villages on Main Street Picton.
“Everyone wins when you shop locally, especially at Christmas time,” said Norman Markland, executive marketing director at the Picton Business Improvement Association. “You’re supporting the local economy by creating jobs. A lot of the employees that work at local businesses live and shop within downtown Picton.”
With over 125 different shops to choose from Markland said you can find pretty much everything on your shopping list right in downtown Picton.
“We’ve had a lot of support from local residents,” said Toni Nickle, manager of Ten Thousand Villages. “Shopping locally ensures people have jobs and can live in their own community.”
“It’s important to sustain our local economy and keep our town going,” said Debbie Seeley. Seeley co owns Seeley’s clothing store in downtown Picton with her husband Doug.
“There are a handful of really good local supporters and are main supporters are our tourists and our drawing card is the Sandbanks,” said Seeley.
Seeley said she thinks a lot of people go to the United States and big box stores to shop.
Markland said residents don’t always have to look out of town for their shopping needs.
“Picton has it all, we don’t need to be going to the large shopping centres and big box stores,” said Markland. “People tend to shop outside the county for different items because they are looking for an experience. “It’s like going to Disney Land, you go for an experience.”
Audrey Marsland lives in Ameliasburgh she said she doesn’t make special trips to the US to shop.
“I shop locally as a rule, either in Picton or sometimes Belleville,” said Marsland as she touches a silk blouse in Seeley’s clothing store. You get different items here that you can’t find in big box stores and you can individualize your wardrobe.”
“Picton stores have a great atmosphere,” said Markland. You can get someone a great gift that gives them a taste of what Prince Edward County has to offer like a gift basket with a local wine or jam.”
If food isn’t your thing, Markland suggests purchasing written by one of Prince Edward County’s local authors or a CD from a local musician from Books and Company.