What three small businesses have to offer during holiday season

Published: Dec. 19, 2022 at 11:08 PM EST
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Last-minute shoppers -- listen up. Time is running out for you to get Christmas presents. In fact, you have about five days to make it happen.

Many locals are not risking it, shopping online and hoping those gifts arrive in time. Some are also flocking to giant retail stores, causing some small business owners to do more to increase sales.

It’s the week of Christmas, and as expected, many locals are still searching for last-minute gifts.

With so many flocking to large retail chains, some local small business owners say it can be tough to attract customers.

“It’s kind of hard because a lot of people do run to the malls, stores like they’re more familiar with,” said Dr. Veranica Haynes, owner of VeraNique Boutique in Uptown.

Julie Heath, who owns Sassy and Southern Boutique on Veterans Parkway, says limited products at other stores inspired her to open her own business.

“I would go into boutiques, and everything was just out of my price range, also a sizing issue. In our boutique, everything is under $40, and we also have sizes up to 3x,” said Heath.

For that reason, she opened Sassy and Southern Boutique five and a half years ago.

Sales have been good since it opened, but she says during holiday seasons, like the week of Christmas, it can be hard to compete with major retail chain stores in the area. With that in mind, she offers layaway options.

“We actually offer Sezzle and Afterpay. With those two programs, you pay 25% upfront, and then you have several weeks to make the remaining balance,” Heath adds.

Ethan Salyer Luxuries on Sidney Simons Boulevard, where people can buy designer items, also offers payment plans.

Other small business owners, like Dr. Veranica Haynes, owner of VeraNique Boutique in Uptown, say big savings deals are one thing they do to attract more customers during the holiday season.

“Anything you can think of, we got it. We’re a one-stop shop -- jewelry, purses -- we got it all,” said Dr. Haynes.

Dr. Haynes says they’ll offer up to 75% off on select items to close out the year. Extending hours also helps.

“And the greatest thing about being down here in Uptown is that a lot of stores don’t close until late. So I’m able to stay open till like 9:00,” said Dr. Haynes.

Though they may not have every item imaginable, both small business owners encourage locals to consider shopping with them.

“Those big stores are going to be here. People are going to keep supporting them. When you support a local place, it just has a bigger impact,” said Heath.

Another thing certain businesses like VeraNique Boutique are doing is participating in Super Saturday. That, like Black Friday, is the final opportunity for last-minute shoppers to catch holiday deals.