Valdosta small businesses gear up for pre-holiday shoppers

Valdosta, Ga. (WALB) – Small businesses are gearing up for those holiday shoppers. But how is the holiday already affecting these businesses? Businesses are stocking up early this holiday season and waiting to see how inflation-weary shoppers will start shopping.

The holidays are a time that many business owners look forward to. This season, however, business owners said they were already feeling the impact of the economy on preseason sales. However, businesses around Valdosta are beginning to prepare for pre-sales and pre-holiday orders to welcome these holiday shoppers.

Small businesses are doing what they can to attract new early-bird shoppers. Christmas tree shop owner Cynthia Havanic said her tree came from North Carolina, but with fewer pre-holiday shoppers, she and her husband are doing what they can to preserve it to attract earlier shoppers .

“We have to keep them fresh and my husband waters them every day so they stay beautiful and fresh and green. Probably that’s all we can do to get them here,” Havanich said.

Christmas tree owner Cynthia Havanic said she and her husband are doing everything they can to...
Christmas tree shop owner Cynthia Havanic said she and her husband are doing everything they can to preserve the tree and await the arrival of holiday shoppers.(Source: Wolb)

Havanic says supply and demand don’t stop there.

“Our prices have come down a bit this year, I think because of the price of the trees, because the growers want more money, the truckers want more money, so that’s reflected in the price of the trees,” Havanic said.

The recession has also been felt in the restaurant industry. As bird flu affects turkey farmers across the country, chefs in Valdosta are feeling the effects, too.

“We can only get so many turkeys, of course, because the restaurant has a shortage of turkeys and hams. We still have a couple, but very few this year. The cost of oil has doubled. So this year we decided not to fry the turkey , but smoked and roasted so you can take it home, throw it in the oven, and have a happy Thanksgiving Thursday,” said restaurateur Nicholas Harden.

Restaurateur Nicholas Harden said his business will continue to serve the community,...
Restaurateur Nicholas Harden said his business would continue to feed the community despite the impact of inflation.(Source: Wolb)

Business owners say they are bracing for a quieter holiday season as Americans spend more cautiously. Harden went on to say that inflation does make it a bit difficult, but they’re still doing their best to attract preseason orders.

“Supplies are hard to come by. Things we need. Right now, we’re selling red velvet cakes. We can make cakes, but we don’t have a dome to put them in, so we’ll say ‘the cake’s coming’. So, it’s kind of tough right now. Small products have affected us over the past few holidays.”

Harden said that while the pandemic has forced his business to adapt to new routines, it has also been positive for families to be reunited.

“One thing, people are able to go back and be with their families again. I think it started last year, but it’s more now, people go to big moms’ or grandma’s or whatever. They’re starting to get back together. So it’s definitely there Help,” Harden said.

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

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