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Thankfully, the two-week COVID-prompted freeze does not shut down these businesses

Thanksgiving weekend in Prineville was given a sucker punch last week when escalating COVID-19 cases prompted Gov. Kate Brown to impose a two-week freeze on certain gatherings and business occupation.

The rules essentially postponed that annual launch into the local Christmas season. No parade for now with no makeup date set and a delayed start to Christmas in the Pines and the Grimes Christmas scene. Add in that large family Thanksgiving gatherings are discouraged as well, and the community is facing a serious buzzkill of a four-day weekend.

But there is some good news. The Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce is still pushing forward with its Small Business Saturday, an annual event that is becoming part of the holiday season launch in its own right. Part of a nationwide effort to support local businesses during the wildly popular Black Friday shopping craze, people are invited to step back from online ordering and big box store shopping and hit the locally owned businesses that drive the community economy.

Thankfully, the two-week freeze does not shut down these businesses. Sure, it will look different. People have to undoubtedly mask up and social distance themselves, and the freeze might limit how many people occupy a business at a time, but people can still get a jump on their Christmas shopping and support businesses during a time where they need as much help as they can get.

So yes, the freeze has thrown a big ol' wet blanket on Crook County's holiday launch, but people have not lost every option. Grab a mask – and maybe a six-foot pole? – and head on out this Saturday and give your local businesses a little bit of boost. Make lemons out of lemonade and hope that this shopping event is just a precursor to a delayed launch of Prineville's other holiday events.


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