Community and government officials are taking steps to help small businesses survive and thrive this holiday season.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect local shops and eateries, Lackawanna County and the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce teamed up on the Support Lackawanna marketing campaign, which encourages consumers to safely assist local businesses at a time of need.

The county allocated $50,000 in federal CARES Act funding to support the campaign through digital, print, radio, TV and billboard advertisements.

The campaign will kick off in the coming weeks, according to Brenda Sacco, the county’s economic development director.

Bob Durkin, president of the chamber, stressed the importance of helping businesses hurt the most during the pandemic, including small retailers and restaurants.

“We’re working hard to remind people that shopping locally has the extra benefit of helping your friends and neighbors,” he said.

In addition, community nonprofit Scranton Tomorrow started its Light Up Downtown Scranton holiday campaign, aiming to inspire people to safely shop and eat in the city’s business district.

Some features of the campaign include Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday sales; a home for the holidays promotion encouraging college students to shop in the city before leaving campus; and an online listing of all the boutiques, restaurants and pubs in the business district.

The organization launched its program five weeks earlier than usual to provide more assistance for shops and restaurants, according to Leslie Collins, executive director of Scranton Tomorrow.

“This year, more than ever, shop local and support local small business campaigns are vital to the sustainability of our local economy,” Collins said.

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