Here we are in December, fully submerged in the joyous holiday season. My mantra of the month (and of all time, really) is SHOP LOCAL! Our shopping habits definitely increase around this time of year as we hunt for gifts to put under the tree for our friends and family members—or employees and team members. Though online shopping at larger, out-of-market retailers is attractive for the sake of convenience and maybe even lower prices, I encourage you to prioritize the prosperity of this community we all call home. Spread “local love” this holiday season by doing your Christmas shopping at small businesses right here in Omaha!

As Michael H. Shuman, author of the book Going Local, put it: “Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.”

Small business owners invest more than money into their business. For many, their business is who they are—their livelihood is ingrained in their DNA. Small business owners have a lot more at stake than a CEO of a large corporation in the sense that their customers and employees are far more than just that to them. If we want to keep Omaha an amazing place to live, work, and play, we all have to do our part by supporting them—and the holidays are a perfect time for that!

In addition, as it is the closing month of 2022, I want to take this time to thank my amazing clients, readers, staff, and family and friends for making this year another great one. Being a business owner comes with challenges, as does anything in life, but all of these people in my life make it worth it. I truly feel blessed when I look around and see all the people who have either trusted Strictly Business as an advertising partner or have become a meaningful part of my life in one way or another.

Shayne and I are looking forward to going into 2023 with renewed energy and commitment to our clients. Every new year brings new highs and lows, new opportunities and challenges, new clients and friends, new events and experiences—I’m excited for it all!

However, even though the calendar will soon be changing, something that will not change is Strictly Business’s foundation of storytelling and building credibility for our clients, both in print and online. Advertising with Strictly Business is so much more than just running an ad. You’re working with a real team that is committed to local business. We value putting a face to the name. You can see this in the magazine through all the amazing free, valued-added editorial we offer. Whether it’s a press release, feature story, or River City Six, our goal is to help your audience make a personal connection with your organization. If you’re interested in making Strictly Business a part of your advertising strategy in 2023, please give me a call!

Lastly, I want to say a bittersweet farewell to our editor and director of operations, Hannah Hundley. Hannah has been with the magazine for almost five years, and we’ve enjoyed having her on the team. She has done a great job serving our amazing clients and has enhanced Strictly Business as a whole with her enthusiasm and commitment to our company values. Hannah will definitely be missed, but we are excited for her next adventure and wish her all the best!

Replacing Hannah is Cemre Lively, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her on board. Cemre has already shown that she is going to thrive in her role here at the magazine and continue to meet the needs of our advertisers and partners. Please help me welcome Cemre to the team! You can learn more about her by reading her press release in this month’s issue.

Let Strictly Business help you lock in your status as The Expert in your industry, utilizing print, the internet, and social media. Find out how by contacting Paige at (402) 466-3330.