Today we celebrate Veteran’s Day and pay homage to the heroes who have fought for our country and protected our freedoms. Many of those veterans live here in the Lake Gaston region, and we should all be proud to call them our neighbors. To those veterans reading this article, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your acts of bravery, honor and self-sacrifice. Entrepreneur.com contributing writer Carol Tice highlights the celebration of Veterans Day in her November 10, 2010, article “6 Ways Small-Business Owners Can Celebrate Veterans Day.” What can small businesses and customers do? 1. Patronize veteran-owned businesses. 2. If you have employees, give them the day off. Veterans Day is often one of those holidays that gets glossed over, or that doesn't seem important enough to close up shop. It is. Give your workers a day to attend a veteran's parade or just think on what we all owe our service members. 3. Offer veterans a discount. Service members deserve a break. If you give a deal to seniors, kids, or any other group, consider putting veterans on your list. 4. Help a veteran start a business, or grow one. There are great organizations such as The Veterans Corporation that exist just to help vets become entrepreneurs. Many franchisors also offer special programs to assist veterans in becoming franchisees. If you know about a resource and see a vet struggling with their business, lend a hand. 5. Tell a veteran you appreciate their service. Sounds corny, but they deserve our thanks, and I bet they'd love to hear it said out loud. 6. Talk to your kids about the holiday. It's important that the next generation understand all that's been sacrificed for their benefit. We support our veterans. We must also support our small businesses. This Saturday, November 14, several of our local businesses will host their holiday open house events. Four of our LKG Regional Chamber members have teamed up (I love it when they do that). Lake Life Clothing Company, Salted Rim Designs, The Flower Shoppe at Lake Gaston and Wildwood Nursery & Garden Center will all host Holiday Open Houses on Saturday. Visit any of these businesses to receive a punch card, then visit the other three businesses to have your card punched at each location. Turn in your completed card (must have all four punches) at the last business you visit to be entered into a drawing. Four winners will be chosen to receive a gift certificate to one of the four participating businesses. No purchase is necessary. The Flower Shoppe at Lake Gaston, 4209 Gasburg Road, Gasburg, VA, will be open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will offer sales on holiday décor and delicious refreshments. Wildwood Nursery & Garden Center, 847 Lizard Creek Road, Henrico, NC, will also open at 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wildwood will host a bake sale by Lakeside Lutheran Church at 9 a.m., and there will be refreshments and a sale all day long. Salted Rim Designs, 326 Lizard Creek Road, Littleton, NC, will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with holiday refreshments and great gift ideas. Finally, Lake Life Clothing Company, 143 Elam Road (Food Lion shopping center), Littleton, NC, will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with special one-day-only sale prices and refreshments. Let’s not forget the many wonderful things to do on the weekends here at Lake Gaston. On Saturday, November 14, enjoy Bill Waugh Acoustics at Watersview Restaurant, 2107 Eaton Ferry Road, Littleton, NC. You can also enjoy the Ladies of the Lake Cancer Support Team Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser to benefit cancer patients in the Lake Gaston region on Saturday night at 5:30 p.m. at Norton’s at the Lake, 3358 River Road, Henrico, NC. Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. visit the beautiful and historic 1850s Cherry Hill Plantation, 2740 NC Highway 58, Warrenton, NC, for a classical music concert by Joel Fan on the piano. Salute our veterans. Support our local businesses. Enjoy our diversions. Soak up everything wonderful that the Lake Gaston region has to offer.