Valdosta small businesses gear up for pre-holiday shoppers

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) – Small businesses are gearing up for holiday shoppers. But how has the holiday season already impacted these businesses? Businesses are stocking shelves early this holiday season and are waiting to see inflation-weary shoppers kick off their shopping.

The holiday season is a time that many business owners look forward to. This season, however, business owners say they are already feeling the impact of the economy on their preseason sales. However, businesses around Valdosta are beginning to prepare for those holiday shoppers by making preparations for advance sales and pre-holiday orders.

Small businesses are doing everything they can to attract new early-morning shoppers. Christmas Trees owner Cynthia Havanic says her trees come from North Carolina, but with pre-holiday buyers dwindling, she and her husband are doing everything they can to preserve the trees and attract previous buyers. .

“We have to keep them nice and cool, my husband waters them every day to keep them nice and cool and green. And that’s probably all we can do to bring them here,” Havanic said.

Christmas Trees owner Cynthia Havanic says she and her husband are doing everything they can to...
Christmas Trees owner Cynthia Havanic says she and her husband are doing everything they can to preserve the trees and wait for holiday shoppers.(SOURCE: WALB)

Havanic says supply and demand don’t stop there.

“We’re down a little bit this year, I think because of tree prices because growers want more money, truckers want more money and that’s reflected in tree prices,” Havanic said.

The restaurant business is also feeling the decline. With bird flu affecting turkey farmers across the country, Valdosta’s chefs are feeling it too.

“We were only able to bring in so many turkeys because of course there is a shortage of turkeys and hams for restaurants. We still have a couple left but they are in short supply this year. The cost of oil has doubled. So instead of making the fried turkeys, we decided to lean into the smoke and roast this year, that way, you can take it home, pop it in the oven, and have a Happy Thanksgiving Thursday.” restaurant owner, said Nicholas Harden.

Restaurant owner Nicholas Harden says his business will continue to serve the community,...
The restaurant’s owner, Nicholas Harden, says his business will continue to serve the community, despite the impacts of inflation.(SOURCE: WALB)

Business owners say they are preparing for a quieter holiday season as Americans are spending more cautiously. Harden goes on to say that inflation made it a bit more difficult, but they’re still doing everything they can to attract preseason orders.

“Supplies have been hard to come by. The things we need. Right now, we are selling red velvet cakes. We can make the cakes, but we don’t have the domes to put the cakes on, so we’re going to say ‘here’s a cake.’ So, it’s a little difficult right now. Small products and that has affected us in the last vacations”.

Harden says that while the pandemic has forced his business to adjust to a new routine, families coming together again have also helped them positively.

“One thing about it is that people can go back and join their families again. I think it started last year, but even more now, people go to big mom’s house or grandma’s house or wherever. They are starting to get back together. That definitely helps,” Harden said.

Business owners say they are hopeful the season will start to pick up once Thanksgiving and Black Friday roll around. They also expect people to shop in stores this holiday season after doing most of their shopping online during the pandemic.

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