Small Business Owners Overcome South Georgia’s Inflation Challenge

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 turn a profit.

“We don’t want to go anywhere else. We love downtown Thomasville,” said Adam Hubbard, owner of Hubbard’s Country Meats, which opened its market in 2020 at the onset of the pandemic. Since then, he said, “the community has really embraced us. We’ve been doing really well.”

Now, he’s counting on customers to place orders before the December holidays. Supply chain prices and inflation have been challenges he’s trying not to pass on to shoppers. “It’s not just meat,” Hubbard said, “packaging materials, electricity bills, fuel costs, everything has an impact on it.”

Across town, The Bookshelf is counting on customers to keep coming, despite concerns about inflation. Olivia Schaffer, retail floor manager, explained: “I think throughout the pandemic and now, we are still facing this problem. We have developed a workaround and we are working on it.”

Sales in the final quarter of the year can have a big impact on the budget, she said. American Express says that for every dollar spent at a local business, $0.68 is given back to the surrounding community.

“There’s never been a better time to shop locally,” adds Bonnie Hayes, Thomasville’s tourism director. With the city’s Victorian Christmas kicking off on Dec. 8 and 9 this year, “you could equate that to a community impact of over $2 million,” she said. That figure is based on previous years digitally derived.

this will be the 36thday Victorian Christmas year. No tickets are required, and most events are free and open to the public.

The National Retail Federation predicts holiday sales nationwide this year will increase 6% to 8% over last year. Now, business leaders want the Rose City to get a slice of the holiday pie.

Meanwhile, shoppers across the U.S. spent a record $9.12 billion online on Black Friday, according to the Associated Press. That’s up 2.3 percent from last year, according to Adobe. The Associated Press also reported that brick-and-mortar sales were up 12 percent, while online sales were up 14 percent, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse.

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