Small businesses get ready for holiday season amid inflation

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The holiday shopping season will soon be in full swing, but it comes amid high inflation with goods costing over 8 percent more compared to last year.

Small businesses in St. Paul are gearing up for the busy holiday season.

“Everybody’s super friendly and the clients are just great. We have a lot of upbeat happy people that come into the store,” Kathy Thomas, Good Things employee, said.

Thomas said great things are happening at the Good Things Boutique.

“We have a comparison with a system that we have and then we can tell where we were at last year compared to this year at this time and we’re doing actually quite good,” Thomas said. “It’s pretty exciting.”

Thomas said despite inflation, she’s not seeing a change in customer spending, but spending habits are a bit different.

Customers are getting a jump start on holiday shopping and the shelves at the boutique are filled with gift options from clothing to home decor.

Thomas explained they had issues last year with stocking shelves, but this year it seems promising.

“We have our full staff on already for all our seasonal workers,” Thomas said. “We’re excited to get busy and help people out.”

Some business owners said this year’s supply chain is better than last year’s holiday season, but it could change.

Local store owners are urging customers to buy what they want when they see it because waiting could have consequences.

“Because who knows if we can get more?” Kate Carmody, Fair Play Projects and Toys co-owner, said.

At Fair Play Projects and Toys, a fair share of the merchandise is handmade overseas.

Carmody said just because it’s in stock now does not mean it’ll be in stock later.

“One thing that we are seeing this year is that we do have some makers that are in Ukraine and some makers that are in Russia and we’re unable to restock those,” she said.

Store owners said the supply chain is unpredictable, but as of now they’re fully stocked and ready for the holiday rush.

“Things have picked up immensely so I think it’ll be a great holiday season,” Carmody said.