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Could supply chain problems help small businesses?

Shipping delays could spell trouble for holiday shoppers this season, but some small business owners are hoping to use the problem to their advantage.

SCRANTON, Pa. — There's one thing business owners Michelle Labar and Hassan Omar Bey Bradham won't have to worry about this holiday season: The products they sell at Artisans Square in Scranton won't end up stuck on a shipping container.

"Each vendor actually brings their stuff to us. So, there are no delays. They make the items from scratch and then bring them here to sell," Bey Bradham said.

"You can walk in and just grab everything because it's here. And all the vendors are just a phone call away, so when something's running out, we don't have to wait. We just call them, and they bring it in, and we just restock the shelves again," Labar said.

Labar and Bey Bradham hope holiday shoppers return to brick-and-mortar stores rather than being at the mercy of the supply chain.

"The stuff is here; the place is stocked. You can see the shelves are full, there's no empty spaces," Labar said.

The owners say once people break the habit of shopping online or at big box stores, maybe they'll realize what they've been missing.

"If Walmart owns everything or some other big chain then you're not getting personalization," Bey Bradham said. "Like 'Candy Classics,' a local vendor that pretty much started out at the local farmers market and brought her stuff down here to sell as well, but you will not find those flavors in Walmart And if you've been in Walmart lately, they cannot keep their shelves stocked."

Labar and Bey Bradham say they've noticed recently more enthusiasm for shopping small after people watched local businesses suffer during the pandemic. They hope it's a trend that continues even after things get back on track with the economy.