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      Benefits of buying your holiday gifts locally

      Local holiday gift option by Lillipad Creations on display at Buy Local Bash

      Hundreds of customers packed the Regional Market in Syracuse Monday night for the Buy Local Bash to sample local food and beverages. But with only a month until Christmas, many have holiday gifts on the mind, which presents another opportunity to buy local.

      For the man in your life, Koolakian and Manro Menswear in Hanover Square carries high quality products made in the USA that you won't find in a department store. Owner, Edward Koolakian points out another plus of shopping locally is avoiding the holiday retail chaos.

      "It is peaceful Downtown. I'm sure you can get a place to park and if a client can't park on the street, we'll pay for his parking in one of the local garages here," says Koolakian.

      For the female consumer, jewelry makes a great stocking stuffer. In the heart of Armory Square, Joettes, sells reasonably priced items which they will gift wrap for free.

      Even though, local food was the main focus at the Buy Local Bash, Beth Eischen, the owner of Lillipad Creations, took the opportunity to display some of her homemade holiday gift options while supporting a cause she believes in whole heartedly.

      "Personally I shop local artisans myself. All of my holiday shopping is local. But I also spend my money locally. So when you patronize somebody local, it helps your community," says Eischen.

      Local businesses are hoping to spread the buy local message and build the Syracuse economy, one stocking stuffer at a time.