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Shopping Maine Made products this holiday season

The Maine Made Program is making it easier for people to support local businesses with an interactive map of all 600+ Maine makers

TURNER, Maine — Thanksgiving has come and gone, and now it's officially the holiday season.

As customers shop for their loved ones, many people are urging folks to keep small businesses in mind.

And the state is making that even easier, by offering an interactive map where you can find more than 600 Maine Made products.

Many small business owners do it all, especially business owners who are also Maine makers, like Susan Shaw, owner of Dr. Pussums Catnip in Turner.

She and her team make all the cat toys and other gifts in her store, starting at the beginning and cutting all the fabric needed.

As business models changed during the pandemic, the goal of the Maine Made program remains the same.

"To promote these products and get them out on a more national level and to reach beyond the borders of Maine," Tammy Knight, Maine Made director said.

She added shopping small is still important even as many people are vaccinated and getting back to shopping in person. But you don't have to shop in person to support small businesses because many small business owners have adapted during the pandemic.

"Online sales of course went up, and more people found us by searching for their cat toys," Shaw said.

Shaw also said it's not only important to support small businesses so they can remain open, but the more support a small business gets— the more they can support others.

"A lot of the businesses like us give back to our communities," she said.

Dr. Pussums Catnip sells products to help the Dempsey Challenge, Honor Flight Maine, and Pal's Cat Shelter.

"The more sales we get, and the more we are able to support small businesses, the more we can support our community," she said.

"Think big... shop small," Knight added.

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