Local small businesses report having a successful holiday season | News






Small businesses like Queen City Records report that this Christmas shopping season has been better than expected as locals spend money on the smaller stores.




During this Christmas season, many small local businesses reported that they had a successful vacation and lots of community support. According to several business owners, the community seems to understand the importance of local shopping.

Mandi Fugate Sheffel, owner of Read Spotted Newt, said the store has had another year of support and good participation with buyers. The support shown is crucial for the continued existence of small businesses in the region.

“We had a really stable and successful holiday season. With the resurgence of downtown Hazard, I see an obligation on the community to shop locally. Shopping locally is critical to future growth, ”said Sheffel. “I also hope it reassures buyers that their dollars will stay with the community. I am very grateful to everyone who chose to shop locally. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Hazard, ”she said.

One company, Queen City Records, was having its first Christmas season. The support, said Mary Jo Everage, co-owner and general manager of Queen City Records, has been incredible.

“Our first Christmas party was overwhelming, but it was amazing. We’ve had a really good turnout of people buying both records and gift cards, ”said Everage. “It was a constant pace until Thursday, then suddenly it hit. Last minute shopping and it was super busy but I enjoyed it so much. At the end of the day I was very tired, but it was worth it.

“Local shopping isn’t just helping local businesses because they’re not one of those big chains – we’re actually working to survive,” Everage said.

Carolyn Davis, owner of Appalachian Quilt and Craft, also reported on a successful Christmas season. The support comes not only from the community, but also from other companies.

“We think it’s great that many customers have decided to shop with us on site and here. We value our customers and the entire local business community. We all help each other and that’s the only way we’ll all do well, “said Davis. “We have had great sales and we appreciate every local customer and customer who shops while they come home over the holidays.”

The business, Davis said, is able to sell a wide variety of products.

“Many of our customers were able to make Christmas presents for family and friends. Some who had just learned to sew this year were making quilts by Christmas, ”said Davis. “In addition to fabrics and sewing supplies, our new gift shop called Confluence allowed us to sell locally handcrafted dolls and crochet animals, paintings, and a variety of unique works of art. The creative crowd here is amazing, and we’re so grateful to our customers, local artists, and the beginner sewing community, ”said Davis.

Other business owners like Sherry Spradlin, owner and operator of the Mother Goose Inn and Gift Shop, and Emily Whitaker, owner of Windy Hills Coffee and Yarn Oasis, said they were having a decent holiday season, but they weren’t as successful as they were in earlier days.

“We did well, but not as well as in the previous two years. Business seemed to be going slower than before, ”said Spradlin. It is very important for the community to shop locally.

“Small local businesses are the backbone of our community. When you look at programs, signs on baseball fields, and so on, it’s the small businesses that sponsor and support these events. Small business owners live in the community and are your neighbors and friends you see every day. A small business owner will always be there to give you personalized attention to find just the right gift or item you need, ”said Spradlin. “Thank you everyone for helping small businesses this holiday season and please keep shopping locally,” she said.

Whitaker agreed, stating that she also had fewer sales than expected, but working with other companies helped the companies.

“Our total number of customers has increased because we have merged shops and organized events. However, sales have declined for me and my partners, ”said Whitaker. “The best thing about this season was the way the local stores referred customers to the other local stores. Often the customers told how they found us. I loved that.

“While no local small business can offer the choice of larger stores, we all strive to anticipate the unique and meet a need. We’ve cut a lot of items, but we still see customers willing to buy gas so they can spend less in stores far away, ”said Whitaker. “Local shopkeepers struggle to only get you to the doors of shops with limited opening hours or awkward parking spaces. Thank you for everyone who tried locally buying. Many mentioned this intention when shopping with us. Some knew that some of us wouldn’t be there next year without their support. “

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