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Brick-and-mortar retail facing challenges to capture share of holiday shoppers’ dollars By Lou Sorendo COVID-19 is further fueling the trend toward online holiday shopping, causing an impact that is decimating small business retailers throughout the Central New York region. Shopping live for the holidays or even in general is becoming even more obsolete as folks take to online shopping as a crisis-plagued 2020 comes to a close. Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO in Syracuse, said across the region, small and locally owned businesses have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 economic crisis. “These businesses are critical economic drivers that support livelihoods and create a unique sense of place within our communities,” he said. “With this in mind, CenterState CEO and its partners have developed events and programs to drive patronage of small businesses during the busy holiday shopping season.” The successful virtual Buy Local Bash Marketplace, presented by AmeriCU, provided an opportunity to support local businesses this season. Shoppers that visit locally owned, independent businesses through the Buy Local Bash Marketplace website gained access to special deals and made further connections to merchants from the community. The Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce hosted its Small Business Stroll, presented by