Vacation Shopping Boosts Omaha Small Businesses

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The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted just about every industry, including local small businesses. But, this holiday season, some are seeing a helping hand get them back on track. Andrea Lawse started her tea business, Artemis, in 2017. She said she wanted to bring comfort to her customers through herbalism. “I love tea because it strikes in us that alternate note of slowing down, of being mindful, of considering,” Lawse said. But Lawse said business at Blackstone was not slowing down. She said she prepared about 1,000 loose tea bags over the past month, doubling its production rate. “A lot of people come looking for gifts for their friends, family or coworkers,” Lawse said. Todd Johnson, of Greater Omaha Chamber said the holiday shopping season was critical for small businesses. “I want to see them survive,” Johnson said. “You know the data is too often pretty dire when it comes to what can last for three. years, five. “From mystery to science fiction to biographies, Bookworm’s books are flying off the shelves. Betsy Vonkerens runs this bookstore near the 90th and downtown.” They’re looking for things for them to read. themselves, “said Vonke inquire. “They’re looking for freebies. They’re looking for that book that takes them away. They’re looking for books that teach them something.” Vonkerens said the holidays are usually busy, but the pandemic has attracted more customers looking for a read comfortable. “I think people got used to staying home a lot more, and they went back to books and puzzles and games. We sell so many more games than before,” said Vonkerens. The chamber says shopping locally, whether it’s buying a cup of tea or a good book, can mean a lot more to the local economy. “It’s not a heavy economy,” Vonkerens said. “The money stays and recirculates or it is exported, never to come back.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted just about every industry, including local small businesses. But, during this holiday season, some are seeing a boost to get them back on track.

Andrea Lawse started her tea business, Artemis, in 2017. She said she wanted to bring comfort to her customers through herbalism.

“I love tea because it strikes in us that alternate note of slowing down, of being attentive, of considering,” Lawse said.

But Lawse said business in Blackstone is not slowing down. She said she brewed around 1,000 loose tea bags over the past month, doubling her production rate.

“A lot of people come looking for gifts for their friends, family or coworkers,” Lawse said.

Todd Johnson of the Greater Omaha Chamber said the holiday shopping season is essential for small businesses.

“I want to see them survive,” Johnson said. “You know, too often the data is pretty dire when it comes to [small businesses] it could be three years, five years. “

From mystery to science fiction to biographies, Bookworm’s books are flying off the shelves. Betsy Vonkerens runs this bookstore near 90th and Center.

“They are looking for things to read for themselves,” Vonkerens said. “They’re looking for gifts. They’re looking for that book that takes them away. They’re looking for books that teach them something.”

Vonkerens said the holidays are usually busy, but the pandemic has attracted more customers looking for a comfortable read.

“I think people got a lot more used to staying home, and they went back to books and puzzles and games. We sell so many more games than before,” said Vonkerens.

The chamber says local purchases, whether it’s buying a cup of tea or a good book, can mean more to the local economy.

“It’s not a heavy economy,” Vonkerens said. “The money stays and recirculates or it is exported, never to come back.”


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