Valdosta small businesses prepare for pre-holiday shoppers
VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - Small businesses are preparing for those holiday shoppers. But how has the holiday season already impacted these businesses? Businesses are stocking the shelves early this holiday season and are waiting to see how inflation-weary shoppers are going to start their shopping.
The holiday season is a time that many business owners look forward to. This season, however, business owners are saying that they are already feeling the impact of the economy on their preseason sales. However, businesses around Valdosta are starting to brace for those holiday shoppers by making preparations for presales and pre-holiday orders.
Small businesses are doing what they can to draw in new early-bird shoppers. Christmas Trees owner, Cynthia Havanic, says her trees come from North Carolina but because of the decline in pre-holiday shoppers, she and her husband are doing what they can to preserve the trees to attract earlier shoppers.
“We have to keep them nice and fresh, my husband waters them every day so they can stay nice, fresh and green. And probably that’s about all we can do to get them in here,” Havanic said.
Havanic says supply and demand doesn’t stop there.
“We’re down a little this year, I think because of the prices of the trees because the growers want more money, the truckers want more money and so it’s reflected in the prices of the trees,” Havanic said.
The restaurant business is feeling the decline as well. With the bird (avian) flu impacting turkey farmers around the nation, chefs in Valdosta are feeling impacted too.
“We were only able to get so many turkeys in, because, of course, there is a shortage of turkeys and hams for the restaurants. We still have a couple left but it’s scarce this year. The cost of oil has like doubled. So instead of doing the fried turkeys, we decided to lean on the smoke and roasted this year, that way, you can take it home, throw it in the oven and have a Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday.” restaurant owner, Nicholas Harden said.
Business owners say they are bracing for a quieter holiday season as Americans are spending more cautiously. Harden continues to say that inflation did make it a bit more difficult, but they are still doing their best to attract the preseason orders.
“The supplies have been hard to get. The things we need. Right now, we’re selling red velvet cakes right. We can make the cakes, but we don’t have the domes to put the cakes in so we’re going to be like ‘here goes a cake.’ So, it’s kind of tough right now. The small products and that has affected us the last couple of holidays.”
Harden says although the pandemic has forced his business to adapt to a new routine, families gathering together again has also helped them positively.
“One thing about it, people are able to get back and join their families again. I think it started last year, but even more now, people are going to big mama’s house or grandmama’s house or wherever. They’re starting to get back together. So that definitely helps,” Harden said.
Business owners say they are hopeful that the season will start to pick up once Thanksgiving and Black Friday arrives. They are also hoping that people will shop in stores this holiday season after doing most of their shopping online during the pandemic.
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