TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — People might not be dashing through the snow but they are having to dash through busy parking lots and stores as the end of the holiday season countdown nears.
Jan Murdock was looking for some last minute gifts Tuesday. Even though it was busier, her experience was a positive one.
"I did get a lot done from my sofa online, but I have enjoyed being out with people. We're not wearing masks this year, most of us are not. So it's been really pleasant to be out in the city," Murdock explained.
Delia Fowler, owner of Loli & the Bean, says the holiday season is a busy one for them and this year is no different. But there is a difference between this year and last year.
"I think the supply is better," Fowler said. "So there's not this hurry to get the gifts because it is more plentiful, and the supply chain seems to be working a little better."
Fowler noticed that shipping prices have increased. Which means she's having to factor the increase into pricing merchandise or adjust what they sell altogether.
"Our large vases that we used to carry that were three feet tall, we don't carry those anymore because they have to be packed so just because of shipping. Shipping added so much to the pricing. So we've really been watching shipping and the cost of goods," Fowler explained.
Even with stores having to adjust prices, Murdock says it's not affecting her holiday budget.
"I guess I'm so aware of prices with food and everything I really haven't noticed that much with gifts and things. It seems to be not that bad with the Christmas gifts that I've been looking at," said Murdock.
Keith Bowers, Director for the Office of Economic Vitality says we won't know local spending data for December until a few weeks into January. But he says local November spending data for this year compared to 2021 is up 2.5 %.
"I'm not sure if we're going to match or exceed the national expectations but I think our community is in a great place to at least improve over last year," said Bowers.
As holiday shopping winds down, Fowler encourages people to consider spending money at locally owned stores.
"I truly believe that all these businesses support our economy," Fowler said. "And when you walk into a store that's giving back to your community, supporting your community, supporting the taxes in your community, instead of buying online. It all stays local."
The Office of Economic Vitality says their December local spending report should be available two weeks after the month ends. It will be available on https://oevforbusiness.org/.