Holiday sales rising at local businesses, owners believe it’s due to the pandemic

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JIM THROPE, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — There’s just over a week left of the holiday shopping season.

According to a report from the U.S. Commerce Department Wednesday, Americans have slowed their spending. But that’s not the case at mom-and-pop stores in the Poconos.

As holiday music rings out in historic Jim Thorpe, shoppers were busy picking up gifts.

“Exploring, shopping, you know. We love to support local,” New York resident Renee Belgiorno said.

Renee and Carl Belgiorno were visiting the Poconos from New York. They say prices prices on Broadway in Jim Thorpe are way better than on Broadway in the Big Apple

“I guess it depends on what you’re looking for. We didn’t come here looking for anything in particular,” Carl said.

Inside Nature’s Trail, you can find all sorts of gifts. Their number one seller? Jim Thorpe ornaments. The gift shop’s owner Annemarie Fitzpatrick says holiday sales this year are great. Their biggest problem? Getting their orders in.

“We were not getting full orders, my Christmas stuff I put the order in in February and didn’t get it until two weeks ago and it was only about a quarter of the order,” Fitzpatrick said.

The owner of Mauch Chunk General Emporium tells Eyewitness News that business has been better than ever. The Emporium’s owner says successful holiday sales the past two years are a reflection of the pandemic.

Eyewitness News found shoppers with bags in hand who wanted to get out of the house. In return, they are spending.

“I just have a lot of people to buy for. And idk today was a fun day if I see fun things for my daughter I was going to pick things up,” Slatington resident Brenda Maykar said.

Though some prefer online shopping for the holidays, it didn’t stop them from picking up a few items Wednesday.

“I think it’s a little iffy sometimes. You don’t really know what you’re getting for your money, but this way you can see it, touch it, wear it. I just think it’s better,” Lydia Weaver of Emmaus said.

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