Despite reports of a shrinking national economy, Valentine Chamber of Commerce Director Dean Jacobs states that most signs point to a strong local economy going into the Christmas shopping season. “There were a lot of people out for the Holiday Preview” said Jacobs, adding that “one of the businesses reported a record sales day on ‘Small Town Saturday”, a day designated to shop locally after the fast paced sales of ‘Black Friday’. The latest official sales tax numbers from the state of Nebraska indicated that both the Valentine community and Cherry County enjoyed an almost 9% increase in taxable sales in the month of August 2022 compared to the same time in 2021, which are the most recent sales figures available.