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By Pat Warren

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland’s small business retailers hang their hopes on a brisk holiday shopping season.

Pat Warren reports Santa has an elf in state government who is rallying for their support.

Allen James has a particular preference when it comes to his holiday gift buying.

“I’m a big fan of shopping local. Big fan,” he said.

Another big fan of local shopping is Comptroller Peter Franchot, who stopped into Red Red Wine on Main Street Annapolis for one of his many holiday purchases.

“I think people understand now that the local businesses are the entities that employ our friends and neighbors,” Franchot said. “They also give us tremendous community support. I have never seen a little league team with Amazon.com on the back.”

“We are shopping local, yep,” one customer said.

Patrick Donoho of the Maryland Retailers Association is asking shoppers to spread those dollars around.

“People don’t think about it every time they go on the Internet and click. That’s one less sale for that merchant,” Donoho said.

The comptroller also made the rounds last year.

Easton, Cambridge and Mount Washington are also on the comptroller’s tour.

Annapolis Midnight Madness, where shops and businesses stay open until midnight, is Thursday.

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