The holiday season has arrived. With Christamas just around the corner, stores are gearing up for an influx of shoppers, and this year, locally owned businesses may have some extra cheer for the holiday season. " This last weekend was a big boost in participation with the shoppers coming down and filling the store." said Bird in Hand owner Bob Malowney.
According to manta.com, an online small business directory, mom and pop shops are seeing an increase in sales from this time last year. That's something that's proving true for Urban Laundry on Main Street in downtown Chico. " November we've already had a 30 percent increase from this time last year in November, so it's looking positive, we're excited", said Urban Laundry owner Cory Campos.
Holiday retail sales are expected to rise nearly 3% during November and December, to more than 465-billion dollars according to the National Retail Federation. It's a boost that comforts local business owners like Bob Malowney of Bird in Hand, who depend on the holiday's, since the sales represent nearly 20 to 30 percent of annual sales for most retailers. " It's a major element, this is the time of year that everybody shops", said Malowney.
Made in Chico is also seeing a boost in sales already this season, thanks to shoppers who want to give a more locally made gift to those on their Christmas list. And though many store owners say they still worry about the economy as a whole, on a local level, they feel things are on the mend. " I think locally it's definitely up and it's on it's way up", said Campos. Malowney adds, " It just feels like it's gonna start resolving itself, lets hope the powers that be that have to work on the solution start coming up with better ideas".