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Holiday shoppers support small businesses in downtown San Luis Obispo

Karson Butler events.jpg
Posted at 5:24 PM, Dec 15, 2022

With just 10 days until Christmas Downtown San Luis Obispo has been transformed into a winter wonderland — attracting holiday shoppers in search of the perfect present.

“I’d say a lot of people have been shopping smaller to local businesses this year to help out the community," said Desi Villagoodwin, The Mercantile San Luis Obispo Sales Associate.

“We’ve had some really great shopping days. The rain of course last week made it a little tough, so we’re excited for one more week of holiday shopping," said Amber Karson, Co-Owner of Karson Butler Events Ah Louis Store.

“We’ve seen a record number of people walking around. You know, not just shopping with us but shopping with other local businesses. It’s been an awesome turnout this year,” said Nick Johnson, The Carissa General Manager.

Data recently released by the U.S. Government shows a drop in retail spending for the month of November. From October to November of 2022 retail spending decreased by more than half a percent.

The national retail federation attributes the drop in retail spending to consumers prioritizing spending on household necessities.

According to a survey from the national retail federation most people plan to do their holiday shopping online with only 24% of respondents planning on doing their shopping at a local small business.

But that has not stopped shoppers in San Luis Obispo — each with their own favorite local spot to buy gifts.

“I love this town and I love Mountain Air Sports. I’ve been a client of theirs since 1985," said Kathryn Cornelius, San Luis Obispo resident.

“I love Junk Girls,” said visitor Candice Newberry.

The survey found the top gift category for 2022 is clothing and accessories.

Legos and barbies topped the list of toys for boys and girls respectively.

With just a few days left to shop — Karson explains the perks of shopping locally.

“You know this time of year people are lonely and it’s great to be able to go in and actually meet the shopkeepers and the people working and have that human interaction. To me that’s what shopping local and small is all about,” said Karson.