The National Retail Federation expects consumers to spend $8.8 billion on Halloween this year.

Among those celebrating, 69 percent plan to hand out candy, 49 percent are decorating their home or yard, 47 percent will dress in costume, 44 percent are carving pumpkins, 32 percent will throw or attend a party, 29 percent take their children trick-or-treating, 22 percent visit a haunted house and 17 percent dress their pets in costume.

Be Local means seeing the opportunity to spend those Halloween dollars at local businesses.

“The only thing scarier than Halloween itself is the impact on the local business economy if Halloween didn’t exist!’’ noted Muriel Nuttall, executive director, Fayette Chamber of Commerce.

Nuttall commented, “In Fayette County - like so many other places - Halloween has quickly become one of the favorite holidays for kids and adults alike. Local businesses thrive with sales of costumes, candy, cakes, cookies, decorations, accessories and more.’’

Melody Longstreth, executive director, Greene County Chamber of Commerce, noted, “Residents have many choices locally to shop for their Halloween celebration supplies.’’

Longstreth offered examples: “Local grocery stores are always stocked up on candy and, for special treats, you can visit 5 Kidz Kandy in Waynesburg for some truly unique, handmade treats and also gifts for that special ghost or goblin. Pumpkins, mums, cornstalks and straw can be purchased locally at Giant Eagle, Walmart, Tractor Supply, Waynesburg Milling, My Son’s Rib Shack and from local farmers on Thursdays at the Waynesburg Stockyards.

“Costumes and decorations are what make the holiday so don’t forget to shop at the Hidden Treasures Store and the Cherry Door in Waynesburg for just the right item to finish your costume,’’ Longstreth continued. “Unique decorations can be purchased from many local craftsmen and specialty shops like Rustique and Lilly Bee’s in Waynesburg to name a few.’’

Supporting local businesses means more than convenience.

Longstreth stressed: “Just remember to shop local whenever possible to support your friends and neighbors.’’

Nuttall also sees another aspect of the holiday.

“The dollars spent at these local businesses are so very important to overall economy, but in addition, there is another strong economy-builder created through this holiday, and that is community spirit,’’ Nutall stated. “It’s so good to see a calendar full of community Halloween parades, trunk or treats, haunted houses, hayrides, and more. Bringing a community together to enjoy family friendly events build a community that where care, kindness, and support of one another is paramount.’’

Nuttall added, “Halloween is certainly an economic driver and we encourage our residents to spend their dollars here in our community, but we also encourage them to take the family and enjoy the special events, attractions, and more that can make our communities strong.”

Those interested in joining the Be Local Network can call 724-425-7515 or email swallach@heraldstandard.com. Discount cards are available at the Herald-Standard, 8 E. Church St., Uniontown, and at the Greene County Messenger, 32 Church St., Waynesburg.

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