Obviously, we are all concerned with keeping ourselves and those in our families and communities healthy. Physically healthy. However, there's also another group of folks we need to be on the lookout for during this hectic, concerning season: Our local East Texas business owners.

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Thankfully, there are ways we can continue to provide the crucial support they need to keep things in the black. Keeping our local economies going is one of the most important things we can do to help keep everyone safe. Financial health, especially in our country, helps with providing and receiving the healthcare we need.

A few ways to continue to support our local East Texas businesses during this time include:

Buying gift cards. Go ahead a get early, early Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers. You don't have to use them now. Just imagine all the fun we'll have celebrating once this "storm" passes. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, of course.

There's always take out! Many East Texas restaurants have already made the switch to take-out and drive-through only. But, that doesn't mean we aren't welcome! Whether you call Door Dash or Uber Eats or very carefully and cautiously head to the drive-thru, your support is most wanted. (Be sure and wash your hands when you get home, though.)

Online shopping. No, that doesn't have to mean thru that one giant entity so many have come to rely on. Many of our local business owners have an excellent online presence and are happy to sell us their wonderful wares via the internet.

Buy produce and handmade crafts from local artisans and farmers. Of course, wash everything extremely well, just like we always should. But this fundage can make a huge different to those in our local economies.

What other ways would you suggest we contribute to our local businesses here in East Texas? Please share in the comments below!