North Augusta, SC (WJBF)- With product shortages and shipping times slowing down during the holidays, now may be a good time to think about shopping at local small businesses.

Local artists and boutiques are encouraging shoppers to consider shopping local instead of ordering online. Small shops have more specialized products, and in some cases one of a kind gifts for your loved ones.

People won’t have to worry about those shortages and slower shipping times. They will leave with gifts in hand.

The Aiken Chamber of Commerce believes this could be a big year for small businesses because shoppers want to be sure to have gifts in time for Christmas.

Jenny Elliott is the owner of Shoppe 3130 and Sweet Fig Market in North Augusta. She explained that even small boutiques like hers are feeling the pinch of product shortages.

“Even our vendors kind of instructed us, like hey, order it early so you make sure you get it. And even still, some of our products that we ordered didn’t come. And then we’ve had to go back in and order more. So, we’ve felt that as a store, we’ve felt that same thing that I think some of our customers may be feeling if they’re ordering online too,” Elliott said.

She credits the community with being able to keep her boutiques open and thriving during the pandemic.

“It’s hands down our community. Like, we would not have made it through if not for people shopping local or supporting local.”

Elliott said supporting local business this holiday season also helps to support the local economy.

Photojournalist: Reggie Mckie.