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Happy Thanksgiving, Shop Local on Small Business Saturday

This information comes from the office of 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley R-Hohenwald, who represents Giles and five other area counties.

Thanksgiving is a special and truly American holiday.

What started as a shared Autumn harvest among Plymouth colonists and Native Americans has evolved to include family reunions, delicious food, football and parades.

But the heart of the holiday remains the acknowledgement to God for his bountiful blessings on our lives, and the precious gift of gathering with friends and family to celebrate.

The celebration regarded as the First Thanksgiving was a three-day feast in 1621 to commemorate the colonists’ first harvest as well as thank the local Indians who helped teach crucial survival skills.

Gratitude and the coming together of friends and family have always been a focus of the holiday.

Prayer services have also been a focus of the holiday.

It’s important to remember that colonists who organized this feast escaped religious persecution in Europe and came to America in search of freedom to worship.

The determination of those colonists to find a home where they could freely practice their faith is the basis for the enshrinement of religious freedom in the U.S. Constitution.

For generations, Americans have fought to defend that right. This Thanksgiving I’m especially thankful for Americans, past and present, who have helped secure and maintain our freedoms.

Thanksgiving also marks the opening to the holiday season as shoppers get ready for Christmas. It is critical to support our local businesses by shopping local and shopping small. Many of these businesses are still recovering from the pandemic, and competing with consumer behavior trends towards online shopping is a persisting challenge.

Small businesses are the foundation of our communities, and the annual Small Business Saturday on November 26 is a great chance to support them.

I encourage Tennesseans to choose to spend their money at local small businesses on that day and moving forward as they plan holiday purchases.

In Tennessee we take pride in our reputation as a business-friendly state that encourages entrepreneurialism and small business success. It is very important we support local businesses and remind them they’re deeply valued by their communities.

Every time we spend money with them we’re supporting a friend, family member or neighbor, and those dollars are reinvested back into our community time and again.

Small businesses are responsible for generating and providing a significant portion of jobs across the state. In Tennessee, they employ about half of all private sector employees.

Nearly seven in 10 small businesses see the winter holiday season as their highest sales opportunity. Let’s patronize these small businesses as they have been a big asset to our communities.

Shopping at local businesses isn’t the only way to support them.

If you had a positive experience at a local business, you can write them an online review, post about the business on social media or recommend them to a friend. Raising awareness about deserving local businesses is a powerful way to show support.

You can also tip generously, sign up for a business newsletter, attend their events or simply thank them.

We live in a great country and state that deeply values small business and has afforded us many opportunities for which we can be grateful this holiday season. I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Sen. Hensley can be reached at 425 Rep. John Lewis Way N., Suite 742, Nashville, TN 37243, at 615-741-3100, or toll free at 1-800-449-8366 ext. 13100, or by fax at 615-253-0231.

His district address is 855 Summertown Highway, Hohenwald, TN 38462, at 931-796-2018, by cell phone at 931-212-8823, or by E-mail: sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov

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Information in this column comes from the office of 28th District State Sen. Joey Hensley M.D., who represents Giles and five other counties. From school bus drivers to trucking, the lack of Commercia