THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WTXL) — With Christmas less than a month away, small business owners in Thomasville are counting on customers to show up and help them make their bottom lines.
"We wouldn't want to be anywhere else,” said Adam Hubbard, owner of Hubbard's Country Meats. “We love downtown Thomasville." Hubbard opened the market during the start of the pandemic in 2020. Since then, he said, “the community has really embraced us. We've been doing really good with it."
Now, he's counting on customers to make orders ahead of the holidays in December. Supply chain prices and inflation have been challenges he's trying not to pass along to shoppers. "It's not only the meat,” Hubbard said. “It's the package materials, light bills, fuel costs, everything has impacted it."
Across town, The Bookshelf is counting on customers to come in despite concerns over inflation. Retail floor manager, Olivia Schaffer, explained, "I think we're still facing that, throughout the pandemic and now. We've made our workarounds, and we're getting it done."
She said those sales in the final quarter of the year can make a big impact on the budget. American Express said each dollar spent at a locally-owned business sends $0.68 back into the surrounding community.
"There is no better time for shopping local than right now," added Bonnie Hayes, tourism director for Thomasville. With the city's Victorian Christmas kicking off December 8th and 9th this year, she said, “you're able to equate it to over $2 million worth of impact into the community." That number is based on numbers from previous years.
This will be the 36th year for Victorian Christmas. No tickets are needed, and most activities are free to the public.
The National Retail Federation predicts this year's holiday sales across the nation will rise between six and eight percent from last year. Now, the business leaders hope the Rose City will benefit from even a small slice of that big holiday pie.
Meanwhile, the Associate Press reported across the U.S., shoppers spent a record $9.12 billion online on Black Friday. That’s up 2.3 percent from last year, according to Adobe. The AP also reported sales at physical stores rose 12 percent, while online sales were up 14 percent, based on Mastercard SpendingPulse data.