ROCHESTER, Mich. (WXYZ) – This holiday shopping season appears to have been a big rebound for local retail.

Despite inflation, supply chain issues, staff shortages and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, local businesses have seen a surge in sales, with many families choosing to shop in person.

It’s the home stretch of 2021 and experts and economists are already predicting a record-breaking holiday shopping season for local businesses.

If you walk into a small business on Rochester’s Main Street, you’ll quickly learn that these predictions can be right.

“Oh yeah, we’ve increased over 50% for sure – 50, 60%,” said Amy Fonville, owner of Talulah Belle.

Talulah Belle, a local boutique, has been in downtown Rochester for 14 years, and this year may be the best yet.

“This season has been amazing and it was actually pretty scary because no one knew what was going to happen this year,” Fonville said.

The increase in in-person shopping has been a pleasant surprise for local retailers, including Mi State of Mind.

The Michigan-made store in downtown Rochester is also enjoying one of its best holiday seasons.

“It just makes you proud to be a part of this community and frankly proud to be a Michigander,” said Maureen Brown, sales associate at mi State of Mind.

Retail is on track to grow more than 10% this year, according to the National Retail Federation, which would set a record for overall growth and spending.

The rebound in small businesses could be attributed to fears over shipping issues or a way for families to get out of the house. But it could also be a concentrated effort of neighbors supporting their own.

“Every year I try to shop local and think the money we spend on Main Street will ultimately benefit us,” said customer Dave Papandrea.

Whatever the reason, this holiday season has been a must-have gift for small business owners who will very soon be starting to plan again for the next holiday season.

“When you do all of this work and people notice it, you feel really good, you feel that what you’re doing is worth it,” Fonville said.

The holiday shopping season ends on December 31, so it remains to be seen what exactly the final numbers are. These figures are expected to be released in mid-January.


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