VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – It’s the time of year when we are all looking for the best deals and unique gifts. This week our team is focused on showing you what each city plans to do to support, and showcase, local business.

First, we take you to Virginia Beach where business owners are ready for “Buy Local Month” which kicks off on November 15.

Inside The Royal Chocolate in Virginia Beach Town Center sits a treasure trove of handmade treats, ready to be gifted and devoured.

“It’s a big, big time of year for us, so we’re pretty excited about it,” said Brenda Tusing, co-owner of The Royal Chocolate.

Tusing says The Royal Chocolate will celebrate 15 years in December. It’s a major milestone considering the pandemic.

“You go into business, or any endeavor, and you expect a lot of things, but you don’t expect a pandemic,” said Tusing.

Tusing has her sights set on holiday sales. To help with that, the Retail Alliance in Hampton Roads created Buy Local Month. It runs now through December 15.

“If you shop local, your dollar stays in the community. So, say for instance, The Royal Chocolate. They have fliers. They have pamphlets. They give away things. They source local vendors. So, that money that they’re employing for local other businesses keeps that dollar churning in our local community. Therefore the local economy strengthens with that,” said Kylie Ross Sibert of the Retail Alliance.

Ross Sibert says Buy Local Month encourages us to support our local businesses throughout Hampton Roads. She says you should not wait to walk through their doors.

“They are really hoping people will come out and shop a little earlier this season. We all know that there are issues with supply chains. So, get the products while you can. Support your local businesses.”

In the middle of Buy Local Month, lands Small Business Saturday, on November 27. For the ViBe District of Virginia Beach, that means annual special deals at neighborhood shops and restaurants, a pop-up vendor marketplace, and a scavenger hunt that ends with the winner receiving hundreds of dollars in gift certificates and prizes.

Small businesses throughout Virginia Beach are showing they are the sweet spot in the community.

“My theory about life is nothing’s all good or all bad, and I think the good side of (the pandemic) is people really have turned around and looked at local, realized the value, and the flavor that we bring to a community, and they are choosing us because we’re local, and I think that’s important,” said Tusing.