The holiday shopping season is almost here and Ocean County has rolled out its Buy Ocean County initiative, to encourage residents to buy their holiday gifts locally.

“What it does when you purchase items in Ocean County, it puts a friend or neighbor to work, it also supports our local businesses, all the local businesses pay not only taxes but are very generous with different volunteer organizations and charitable organizations,” says Joe Vicari, Ocean County Freeholder Director.

Vicari adds if you have a problem with a purchase made locally you can get help from the Ocean County Department of Consumer Affairs. He says gift certificates to local businesses are also great presents because the recipient can use it whenever and the business will benefit after the holidays are over.

“Why would someone in Ocean County for example go out of the state sometimes, they save a little bit on sales tax, true, but again, look at what it is costing them to travel, for gasoline and the wear and tear on their car, if you spend the money in ocean county, its competitive, it will save money, its protected and you put a friend or neighbor to work,” says Vicari.