‘I am a survivor:’ Topeka business owner hopes holiday shoppers support small

Local News

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Halloween is a little over a week away but according to retailers, you may need to start your holiday shopping early to ensure things arrive on time.

Despite the warnings, shopper Julie Paschal isn’t worried about possible shipping delays.

“I’m to the point now with everything going on that we can live without it,” Paschal said.

COVID put a wrench in production for months, but with life picking back up, the industry is now struggling to keep up with demand.

According to CBS News, shipping traffic is up 50% from pre-pandemic levels and a record 70 cargo ships are facing delays at the port of Los Angeles, which handles forty percent of the nation’s imports.

“We purchased our product like last August, September. Whether it will show up or not, we don’t know,” Owner of Absolute Design by Brenda, Brenda Price said.

Price has owned the floral and home decor shop for more than 20 years in Topeka. Like many other small businesses, she’s faced her fair share of challenges during the pandemic.

Now with the holidays right around the corner, she hopes people choose to shop small.

“We can support the families around here that have been so affected by COVID. This is the chance to do it,” shopper Paschal said.

The CBS report says many of the shipping delays are on items coming from overseas and while that may impact some of Brenda’s holiday items, consumers won’t have to worry about not getting their gifts to loved ones since they design many of their items in-house.

VP of Entrepreneurship and Small Business with The Greater Topeka Partnership, Laurie Pieper, says shopping at the business around town helps the community economically.

“Sixty-eight dollars of every hundred dollars spent locally stays locally,” Pieper said.

It also helps with job retention.

“In Kansas, 99.1% of businesses are small businesses and they provide 50.5% of the employment in the state,” Peiper said.

While this holiday shopping season may be a bit more challenging with supply chain delays, Brenda will continue doing what she does best out of her shop on Kansas Avenue.

“It may not be the perfect way we so desire. I am a survivor so it will happen,” Price said.

For more information on Brenda’s shop, click here.

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm