Consumers are encouraged to keep some vacation expenses local

The reality is simple: local businesses are at a disadvantage when competing with the price and convenience of Amazon and the online shopping offered through big box stores like Walmart and Target.

However, Parker Chamber director TJ Sullivan suggests that this year’s buyers consider giving a portion of their vacation budget back directly to the community by spending it at local businesses. Sullivan is challenging residents to spend at least 50% of their total vacation budget at local shops and businesses.

“It’s hard to promote local shopping when it’s not as convenient,” Sullivan said. “It’s hard for our local businesses to compete on inventory, price and convenience. It all comes down to a decision of citizenship.”

Sullivan said citizens need to think about where those sales tax dollars go when they shop locally. They are intended to improve the infrastructure and services of the city.

By looking at recent data, Sullivan’s challenge can be accomplished. According to an American Express trends report, more than 77% of consumers surveyed said shopping local at some level will be a priority by 2022.

Nola Krajewski, executive director of the Golden Chamber of Commerce, said that for many businesses along the Front Range, the holiday season is the most important time of the year and it doesn’t end with just retail stores.

Krajewski said that supporting local businesses also means going to local plays and cultural activities; it means choosing a local insurance provider; it means taking advantage of happy hour at a locally owned business; And it means going the extra mile to be considerate, patient, and kind to everyone you meet working there.

“It’s been a tough few years for our business community and everyone is understaffed and overworked,” Krajewski said. “Kindness goes a long way when it comes to supporting our local business community. It costs nothing to support a local business with a kind word, a positive review or a little more patience during their most critical time of year.”

As businesses struggle to keep up with inventory challenges, staff shortages, and stiff competition, the average shopper leaves room for optimism. According to the recently released Deloitte Holiday Shopping Survey 2022, overall spending in 2022 is expected to mimic 2021 figures, at $1,455 per consumer. This reflects optimism among low-income spenders.

According to the survey, the low-income group reported feeling more hopeful this season, with plans to return to pre-pandemic spending levels, which could be up to 25% higher than in 2021.

Before the candy hits shelves ahead of Halloween, a September report from the National Retail Federation said retailers both large and small have begun preparing for optimistic holiday shopping projections.

Nadine Wilson of Truly BoHotique said she began ordering and preparing for the holiday season in late summer and early fall.

“We take into account the best-selling items from the previous year, as well as seasonal trends when ordering,” he said. “We’re not having massive supply chain issues, but we certainly found some.”

Wilson said that over the past year, about 15% of all orders have been canceled due to manufacturers being unable to fill orders, requiring her to order up to 15% more merchandise.

“We’re not having massive supply chain issues, but we certainly found some,” Wilson said. “In terms of inflation, we are absolutely experiencing increases in our wholesale prices for goods, along with increases in the prices of supply items (bags, tissue paper, etc.). The cost of our products along with the cost of running the business has increased, but we are doing everything we can to minimize price increases for our customers so as not to stop people from buying.”

Big box retailers began offering early deals, making Black Friday less of an event.

“Retailers are responding to consumer demand by initiating sales and promotions for winter holiday merchandise early in the year,” the NRF report said. “That also allows consumers to spread their budget over a longer period of time and shop for the best deal for their holiday shopping.”

At one point, the busiest holiday shopping days occurred over a five-day period, beginning with Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, and continuing through the weekend until what is known as Monday. cybernetic

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, known as Small Business Saturday, has traditionally been marketed to shoppers to support local businesses. This year, Small Business Saturday is November 26.

However, in recent years, NRF said consumer trends are changing as shoppers spread spending throughout the season, which began with more deals in October.

For local businesses, Sullivan said, instead of trying to compete on inventory and price, it’s about providing a memorable experience. However, Sullivan added, providing expertise is difficult for business owners these days.

Since early 2020, Sullivan said business owners are still reeling from losses due to the pandemic-forced closure. They are still struggling with inventory due to global supply chain issues. They are grappling with how to make money but keep up with the cost of inflation. Many of them are also short-staffed, Sullivan said.

“It’s tough right now and it’s going to be a tough holiday season,” Sullivan said. “But I believe in Parker because I think people here know the importance of supporting our business owners. To shoppers, I just say if you maybe know the local store owner, you went the extra mile to spend some of that vacation funds with her.”

Business owners have to make it personal, Sullivan said. They have to show citizens their value and importance as the 2022 holiday season approaches.

“The stress of the holiday shopping season is not new to any of our businesses,” Sullivan said. “Is not a new problem. Before Amazon, there was Walmart and Target. We just have to keep pushing.”

Business owners are depending on their local communities to support them at this time, Krajewski said.

“Whether it’s hosting a holiday party, dining out, going to a holiday event or shopping for gifts, spending locally means you support a business owner and their employees who likely live in their community. When our local business community is thriving and strong, the community as a whole is strong.”

According to Krajewski, Wilson said buying local not only supports local business owners, but helps keep more of what is spent within the local community, rather than going out of state to a large corporation.

“Gold companies that survived Covid for the most part have bounced back, but it was a tough year or so,” Wilson said. “For many of the companies that have just come out of covid, the idea of ​​a recession is pretty scary. There is so much stress that small businesses can take.”

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