The Better Bennington organization might have said it best, “When the holiday season rolls around we all hold fast to personal sentiments that make the season so special to each one of us.” Since our best memories are usually the times we've spent with our families, friends, and neighbors, the Better Bennington organization, which works so hard to drive economic growth downtown, invited all of us to enjoy an afternoon in downtown Bennington this past Saturday as we joined communities throughout the country in celebration of "Small Business Saturday.”

It was indeed a day to “reconnect with our community and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season with strolling carolers, holiday decorated streets, live performances, and in-store activities and specials,” as the BBC had promised. It was also a perfect day to support our locally owned businesses that do so much to support our town.

As our community recently lost a long-time business partner and friend in Kevin Armstrong and the public visibly mourned his passing with hundreds attending his celebratory walk, we witnessed the true power our community has to reach out and touch one another in sadness, loss and a celebration of life. When you shop locally, you'll discover the hidden treasures that cannot be found in a mall or on Amazon. While catching up with old friends as we amble among the bookshop, confectioners, country store, bakery, florist, clothiers, galleries and antique shops, we can reconnect with what makes us truly an nice and traditional New England town.

This holiday season, amid the hustle and bustle of trying to “get it all done,” we at the Chamber, along with the Better Bennington organization and other local agencies, encourage you to explore what makes Bennington special. We challenge you; go find that unique gift that can only be purchased at a small business. To see more of what we’re working on throughout the holiday season and what some of our members have on sale visit:

A special note of encouragement and thank you to all our small business members and community members who continue to get up every morning, even in the sometimes snow covered streets of the Shires, and as my dad would say, “just go to work.” We cherish you!

Always Onward,
Matt Harrington