Very soon, friends and family members will gather together to eat, give thanks and celebrate the holidays. In turn, we all will start to comb through Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads searching for the perfect gifts for loved ones. As we begin our holiday shopping and party planning, let’s not forget the independent local businesses that line our downtown shopping districts and Main Streets.

Every dollar spent on local, Ohio products reinvests in our local economy and allows homegrown businesses to thrive and hire more of our friends and neighbors for quality jobs.

Buying local ensures that our economy remains strong, and downtown shopping districts and Main Streets stay vibrant and unique. In turn, local vendors help us find thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gifts.

Many specialty retailers focus on Ohio-made or -grown products. Every weekend this holiday season is an opportunity to visit a holiday market, craft show or pop-up in your town.

Even if you live in an area with a limited selection, large retailers carry many of these items as well. From fresh food, wine and baked goods to crafts, artisan soaps and lotions, you will likely find Ohio products in each aisle of your favorite grocery store.

Programs like Ohio Proud are designed to draw consumers’ attention to products that are made, grown or processed in Ohio. Our website, lets you learn more about Ohio Proud products and navigates you to where you may buy them. Looking for Ohio Proud and other locally made products is a great way to tackle your holiday shopping while feeling satisfied about the fact that you’ve redirected your own hard-earned dollars into the hands of other hard-working local business owners and families.

Notable “Made Local” holiday shopping events this season:

11/15 – Winter Market – Sip, Shop, Stroll – Rocky River
11/16 – Holiday on the Green – Garrettsville
11/16-11/17 – Christmas Corner – Columbus
11/16-11/18 – I-X Christmas Connection – Cleveland
11/16-11/18 – The Cleveland Flea Holiday Market – Cleveland
11/17 – Winter Wonderland Craft Show – Kent
11/17-11/18 – Christmasfair – Columbus
11/18 – Holiday Craft and Vendor Fair – Worthington

11/24 – Kent Flea Holiday Show – Kent
11/24 – Mistletoe Hall Craft Show – Canton
11/24-11/25 –Crafts for Christmas – Maumee
11/24-11/25 – Sandy Valley Merry Christmas Craft Show – Magnolia
11/25 – Sleigh Bells Ring Craft Show – Richwood
11/30-12/2 – Winterfair – Columbus

12/1 – Crafty Supermarket Holiday Show – Cincinnati
12/1 – Christmas in the Village Street Market – Plymouth
12/1 – Christmas By-The-Lake Craft Show – Avon Lake
12/1 – Cleveland Montessori Holiday Boutique – Cleveland
12/1 – Christmas Under the Clock Craft Fair – Plain City
12/1 – Hollyfest Arts & Crafts Show – Hilliard
12/1-12/2 – Handmade for the Holidays Craft Show – Cincinnati
12/2 – Not Your Mama’s Holiday Craft Market – Columbus
12/2 – Wildwood Holiday Craft Show – Mentor
12/2 – Arts & Crafts Festival at Schedel Arboretum & Gardens – Elmore
12/2 – Holiday Festival Craft Show – Worthington

12/7-12/9 – “Flannel and Frost” Vintage Market Days – Akron
12/8 – Kent Flea Holiday Show – Kent
12/8 – Market Bleu: Winter Quarter – Cincinnati

12/14-12/15 – Holiday Market at the Screw Factory – Lakewood
12/14-12/16 – The Cleveland Flea Holiday Market – Cleveland

12/22-12/23 – The Procrastinator’s Shopping Event – Mentor

If we’re missing a great event that features Ohio Proud partners, let us know! More great festivals and events can be found at Happy Holidays!