The holidays are here, and with them come an abundant array of community events for everyone to enjoy.

Fairfield is just fabulous during holidays, and because it is the time of giving, Fairfield is the perfect town offering a variety of shopping options — especially for those who are looking for unique and special presents for family and friends.

Fairfield is proud to say that it still has many small and family-owned businesses, within the downtown district and in other business areas, like Southport, Greenfield Hill, Stratfield to name a few. Shoppers can find unique gift items, fine prepared foods, toys, wonderful wines, jewelry and accessories, clothing and antiques, to satisfy the wishes of loved ones. And for the higher-end gift items, Fairfield has car dealerships galore!

The chamber and the town actively promote and strongly encourage residents to shop and buy local. Store owners face many and difficult challenges, including rising business costs and the ever-expanding online purchase market. With the launch of Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24 at the chamber’s Santa’s Arrival event, attendees received Shop Small shopping bags, “I Love Fairfield” pins, and other promotional items, to remind shoppers how critically important it is to support our local business community.

Our small businesses help define our community, and establish a story of what was, and who we are today. These businesses pay taxes, create jobs, contribute to our local nonprofits, and reach far into the fabric of the community, to help where they can. You know them by name, and they are the town’s economic foundation, happily providing their items or services to effectively meet the wants and needs of those they serve, each and every day.

On Dec. 6, Fairfield hosted its annual Holiday Shop & Stroll. This growing event was anticipated to be even bigger this year, with more stores and restaurants participating throughout the day and over the weekend. Shoppers found special holiday discount offerings, and as they strolled from store to store while carolers on the street sang beautiful songs, bringing a very festive spirit to the evening.

After the holiday month of December, the chamber continues with the theme of Buy Local. From mid-January through mid-March, street banners will go up and state: Support Local Businesses. A strong reminder that even though the holidays are over, that it is ever important to “continue” to support our local businesses not only during the holidays, but throughout the year as well.

In closing, the Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the town of Fairfield, celebrate not only the holidays, but our local business community as well. We are happy they are here, and we applaud their efforts and determination to be successful. And by supporting them through the Buy Local campaigns, we have a direct impact on their success, making it a win-win for everybody.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

Beverly A. Balaz is president of the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce.