Hallmark is starting their holiday movie countdown and Hobby Lobby is playing Christmas music. The holiday season is upon us! With retail sales being way up and delivery efficiencies being way down, people are understandably concerned about holiday gift buying. I’m giving a few extra reasons why shopping local this holiday season is especially important!

I’ve written numerous pieces on inflation. One of the positives is that wages are going up! Year-over-year wage growth is 4.6%. Those wages are chasing a limited supply of goods. What do I mean by that? Well, look at the recent spike in retail sales! There was a 5-month dip in sales during the pandemic, but then it shot right back up – and beyond!

Increased retail activity doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to buy your Christmas presents. It does mean it might take longer to receive them. The pandemic, decreased labor supply, and weather catastrophes lead to massive port congestion. I could also remind you of that Suez Canal mishap earlier this year! There are currently 35 ships just waiting to get into LA and 25 more sitting outside of Savannah. From what I’ve heard about trucking facilities, it is not much better there!

That said – here is why I want to encourage you to shop local. Your local small business has probably been working for months to build inventory. Many of your local stores sell high quality products that are already there – IN THE STORE! You don’t have to wait for shipping times or worry about lost deliveries.

Lastly, I’ve seen this note circulating around the internet recently. Seeing my loved ones open and enjoy their gifts is the best. I can therefore understand how shop owners get immense joy from people buying those gifts from them! Every Christmas, I do my best to get as many gifts as possible from downtown Findlay, OH for this very reason.

If you are anything like me, you will be delightfully surprised to find the treasures that sit in the small stores in your very own town!