Small business owners share small purchases during the holidays

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) – For Mandy Schaehl, owner of Read Spotted Newt bookstore in Hazard, community support has helped her make ends meet when her business is flooded and the world shuts down due to Covid-19.

“People went out of their way to support this bookstore; That’s why I’m still here. That’s why I was able to go big,” Shefil said. “Not only did I survive during Covid, but it was great. I was able to go to a bigger place and that’s what I did. This was a community.”

As we head into the gift season, small business owners are encouraging everyone to shop local. Not only to help these small businesses survive when times are tough, but to impact the local economy.

“The national average tells us that $73 of every $100 spent locally is saved,” said Rhonda Brewer, co-owner of Soups on North Maine in Hazard. “This is a certain increase in our taxes for our charities, local charities, it allows us to donate to those local charities but your big box stores may not care about your hometown basketball team.”

Sheffel and Brewer both say they’re getting a more personalized retail experience when they shop less.

“You know, it’s not like big-box retail where you go into Barnes and Noble, the selection is obviously bigger, but what’s here seems to be hand-picked by me for the people of this area,” Sheffel said.

Beera said her goal is to create a place where people can shop without having to travel two to three hours to get gifts for their loved ones.

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