Norris Works to Provide Consumer Assistance, While Also Encourages All to Shop Small

A Column from Assemblyman Mike Norris (R,C-Lockport)

As news of shipping delays and goods shortages at major box stores spread across the nation, many Americans began holiday shopping early this year. Already shoppers are noticing higher prices on consumer goods, groceries and at the gas station, and they feeling the pinch. But instead of saying “Bah humbug” this holiday season, you can shop smart by shopping small and local to keep your season festive, affordable and bright!

Supporting our local shops and services puts a greater investment back into our community. When it comes time for Little League or softball teams to seek sponsors, it’s always our local shops, restaurants and services like drycleaners or car washes that step up to the plate. Why not remember them this holiday season and, quite frankly, who wouldn’t enjoy a gift certificate to their favorite hometown restaurant, shop or a few months of car washes from Santa?

Local restaurants, farm stands, and farmers markets also are a great source for holiday catering. If basting a turkey all day is not your thing, there are local restaurants where you can order a holiday meal, pie, pastries or other delicious goods ahead of time. Or treat yourself to a gift card now that you can use later down the road when there just isn’t enough time to meal plan.

Shopping small and local is also another way to make your holidays truly special and unique. Your décor will stand out and your dishes will be sure to taste fresh and be full of nourishment. Not only will you be saving yourself time and money, but you’ll also be investing in our community, protecting jobs and helping the local economy.

There is a ton of power in consumers’ choices, but there is also more the state can do to help address the impact of inflation on New Yorkers. That’s why I worked with my colleagues to introduce the Inflation Relief and Consumer Assistance Plan. Our plan would immediately suspend the state sales tax on everyday necessities like gasoline, personal care goods, housekeeping supplies and food. Our plan provides immediate relief to combat the monthly increase in prices on these items by as much as $287 for single consumers or $388 for families of four over the last year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

New Yorkers need our state to be more affordable. In Western New York, we know our friends and family move south not because of warmer weather. Now that our new governor is from here, let’s hope she will take action to make our state more affordable – not just for the holidays but in the long term. Cutting taxes with our Inflation Relief and Consumer Assistance Plan is a start, and I look forward to working with her toward that goal.

Here’s wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving! Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance. You can email me at or call my office in Clarence at (716) 839-4691.