ST. ALBANS CITY — It was a good holiday season for downtown businesses, according to storeowners.

The owners of two very different business, Sharon Holcombe of Bayberry Cottage and Gordon Winters of Ace Hardware, said this was the best holiday season they’ve had in several years.

Both mentioned efforts to encourage people to shop in their local communities as a factor in their successful seasons.

“The shop local movement has really been strong over the last few years,” said Winters. “People are really taking the time to support their local stores.”

They’re also discovering those stores can be just as competitive as big box stores, he added.

“It was fantastic,” Holcombe said of her holiday season. “It was probably one of the best holiday seasons I’ve had in years.”

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