'We're here': Small businesses push local shopping during supply-chain crunch

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- There's been a push since the start of the pandemic to shop locally. Some people say that decision could make all the difference in gift-giving this holiday season.

Orders are coming in fast and furious at Cul De Sac Critters workshop for one-of-a-kind pieces. Personalized Christmas tree ornaments are the top seller.

Owner Melissa Burgess is thrilled that people are turning to the small business for gifts, instead of big-box stores where there could be merchandise delays.

"Make an effort to buy from local small mom and pop shops, such as myself," she said.

There are nationwide supply chain issues.

Shop Local Raleigh is urging people on social media accounts that locally-made items aren't tied up at shipping ports.

Burgess said it's frustrating that more people don't keep money in their own backyard.

"We're here. All you have to do is look," she said.

Ali Cat Toys owner Irene Kesselman started receiving warnings back in February that there could be supply-chain problems.

She started placing big orders for her Carrboro shop during the summer and now feels confident going into the holiday shopping season.

"Our room in the back is absolutely stacked with merchandise. We are tripping over one another, but we are dealing with it," said Kesselman.

Both small business owners are stressing the importance of purchasing early. Some stuff will need to be shipped out in time for Hanukkah or Christmas.

"We've also seen a spike in our online sales, which is really a positive," said Kesselman.

Burgess added: "You have to get on the schedule. We're just getting already backlogged."

Kesselman is looking beyond the upcoming holidays. She's already starting to purchase goods for Valentine's Day and Easter.
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