AMHERST & TOWN OF TONAWANDA, NY (WKBW) — 'Tis the season to be giving, but also cautious.
Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa said, "In order to make sure our residents stay safe and that our community stays prosperous and that we all make sure that we all have a safe, healthy and wonderful holiday season."
Amherst and Town of Tonawanda officials gathered to encourage holiday shoppers to take on a "hit-two-birds-with-one-stone" approach by shopping local, specifically in Erie County, and getting tested for COVID-19 and getting the COVID-19 shot, Friday morning.
"We're all living this nightmare, and it is a nightmare, but it's here and we can't close our eyes to it. We need to support our local businesses. The thought of people going into Niagara County to support businesses up there, quite frankly just boggles my mind a little bit. We have neighbors, we have family members who need and rely us- our community- to support them. Now, more than ever, is the time that we should be supporting them," Town of Tonawanda supervisor, Joe Emminger said.
Town officials worry residents are getting COVID fatigue and does not want to community as a whole to lose sight of continuing to follow health guidelines.
Amherst has is even working with KSL Diagnostics on 500 Maple Road to open the drive-thru site to expand access to testing and reducing wait times. Tests cost $125, according to the website.
"The pandemic has lasted longer than anybody would have imagined but that doesn't that away our resolve," Emminger said. There's nothing that we can't do as a community. We can do everything that we want. Everything is opened, so it isn't like we can't go to restaurants, we can't go to malls. We can do that. We need to do that."
Weekend activities taking place are Santa in the Village at the Kenmore Village Green from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday.
Then on Saturday, the Town of Amherst Holiday Market from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Buffalo-Niagara Village Grounds and Williamsville's Holiday in the Village on Main Street from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Kenmore-Tonawanda Chamber of Commerce president, Cathy Piciulo said, "As we all make that effort to enjoy the season and support our small businesses, that we do it with the kindness of the season. There's not need to tell the little clerk that is trying to wait on you that you hate wearing masks. Just be nice."
Town officials said if anyone is concerned about shopping in person, can contact local shops to see if they offer contactless pickup or online shopping options.