NEEDHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - As the holiday shopping season begins, Gov. Charlie Baker is urging residents to get their gifts from local merchants.

An industry group predicts a 6 percent increase in business over 2020 for Massachusetts retailers, compared to an 8.5 percent increase over 2020 nationally. Baker visited several local businesses in Needham with the Retailers Association of Massachusetts on Monday in an effort to encourage buying local.

“The biggest reason for people to shop locally is that the money gets reinvested in the communities they live in,” Baker said.

The co-owner of Michelson’s Shoes, which has been in Needham since 1919, said he was starting to see a pickup in business.

“It’s been good, people are shopping again,” said Eric Michelson. “I think people really are starting to get focused on supporting the local businesses.”

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