Local shopping benefits Ketchikan.

And the First City can use it this year — perhaps more than ever.

The novel coronavirus reared its ugly head earlier this year and is infecting the community in its highest numbers with dipping temperatures and the traditional cold and flu season.

Local officials caution residents — shoppers included — to wear masks, social distance and basically employ common sense to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For that matter, the same precautions will limit colds and flu.

But life goes on, and shoppers will be gathering ingredients for a satisfying Thanksgiving dinner, and gifts and delicacies for the Christmas celebration, albeit the guest lists are likely to be shorter than previous times. This is the year for intimate observances.

It’s also the time to support the local businesses like never before.

They, like you, are affected by the virus. It’s been more difficult financially, particularly without the influx of cruise ship shoppers and the challenges in receiving merchandise to sell from the Lower 48.

But a quick look about town shows that the stores are stocked and looking forward to welcoming shoppers. They are cognizant of the virus with most recommending facial coverings and distancing. Shoppers are being accommodated in ways that weren’t necessary before. Both food and potential gifts can be picked up curbside, or shopping can be timed for the least busy times of the day.

The key is to work with the businesses. They need the business, and if you need the items, they can figure out a way to get them to you.

The purchases will benefit both the seller and the buyer, and the local government coffers, which are in acute need of the sales tax to offset the virus-related financial effects.

Ketchikan can help itself this year with local buying. Or it can contribute to another community by purchasing from Outside.

One way will support local services, jobs and the local economy. The other won’t.

Let’s support Ketchikan!