Local Businesses Not Concerned About Fiscal Cliff

By Brett Baldeck | 

A report by the Mastercard Advisors Spendingpulse says holiday shopping this season grew by only .7%.

That is the slowest growth since 2008 and analysts blame the uncertainty about the economy due to possible tax increases from the fiscal cliff.

Locally, stores say this season was better than last year.

"It was very busy. I worked last year for Christmas time and it was busier than last year," says Stephen Parks from Candle Makers on the Square.

Even with more customers Parks says a fiscal cliff could have a ripple effect impacting local tourism. But as of now his customers don't seem too concerned.

"I feel like a lot of people aren't traveling as much this year with gas prices. I feel like a lot of people are worried but not too worried. I think we are still getting out there and spending money but we are being more conservative," says Parks.

Businesses that rely on every holiday for spending, like Deemers Flowers, say the potential fiscal cliff also hasn't had an impact yet.

"We had a very busy Christmas season this year. We especially noticed that there was alot of last minute shoppers. The Christmas season is just a long extended period of time where we stay busy a lot," says Tonya Limlingan.

The shopping season does continue with post holiday sales to get rid of merchandise. Analysts say it's a last chance for retailers to cash in after a disappointing season. But for local shops it's a time to prepare for the next season.

"Storage is where it goes until next year, but hopefully I will get rid of it all before then because January 1st this store is going to be decorated in its spring colors," says Parks.

That day may premiere a new line of spring products. But January 1st is also the deadline for Washington to reach a deal before we go over the fiscal cliff.

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