Oakland County encourages shoppers to buy local amid supply chain shortages

Berkley boutique shares how they’re still able to keep shelves stocked

Shopping at local businesses for the holidays isn’t just for Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Black Friday.

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – Shopping at local businesses for the holidays isn’t just for Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday.

In late October, a WDIV Insider poll showed that 60% of respondents said they are seeing shortages locally. The same number said they are worried about potential supply shortages moving forward.

Small business owners like Susan Rogal, who owns Vitrine in Downtown Berkley, have found ways to keep their shelves stocked for the holidays.

“We actually probably have more of a stock than we’ve ever had,” Rogal said.

It’s a bold contrast from major retailers and big box stores. Rogal said it’s a benefit of getting home goods, clothes, accessories, toys, and gifts from Michigan suppliers and artisans.

“If you’re buying something made in Michigan, it’s not stuck on a boat in the channel somewhere,” Rogal said.

As early as May, Rogal and some of the other business owners she knows in Berkley heard how hard it could be to get items for the holidays and planned ahead.

“A little bit of shopping early, a little bit of buying more early related to getting ahead of those freight charges,” Rogal said.

Rogal said it also helps that they have a diverse collection of products they buy and sell.

Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter said he knows there are eager shoppers.

“In Oakland County, we vaccinated 75% of our eligible residents, 90% of our seniors. So I do think there’s increased comfort and even a pent-up demand to get out and go shopping,” Coulter said.

The key is to make sure those shoppers know the plenty of options they have in their backyard.

“From Ferndale to Lake Orion to Pontiac. All over the county, 16 different unique, interesting downtowns,” Coulter said. “Yeah, you can shop on Amazon, you can go shopping at the mall, that’s all fine -- but take a portion of your holiday dollars and make sure you come to one of our downtowns.”

Coulter said to help small businesses not just survive but thrive, they are using American Rescue Plan Act funds to hire small business navigators.

The new program will support small businesses in underserved communities throughout the county to make it easier to access resources directly.

Read: More Small Business Saturday coverage

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.