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Small businesses, communities say it matters where you choose to shop this holiday season

Small businesses, communities say it matters where you choose to shop this holiday season

This year’s holiday shopping season started earlier than ever. Over the five-day Thanksgiving break, nearly 182 million people are expected to shop online and in-stores.

While major retailers count on robust sales, local communities have just as much riding on the holiday rush as small business owners. That’s why it matters where your money goes. It especially matters when you hear the harsh reality that 0 percent of start-up businesses don’t survive their first year.


“Hello, how are you?” called Hendersonville Toy Company‘s Lyndsey Simpson from behind her cash register.

Behind her, another business owned by Lindsay Cromartie is operating. Cromartie offered the Simpsons the storefront to her Gateaux Cakes and Pastries business, leaving her the kitchen.

“We jumped on that,” Simpson of the offer.


It’s an ideal match: Cakes and presents. It also makes the Simpsons’ upcoming business anniversary a little sweeter. It gave the former pop-up shop, which struggled to find a location, a place to grow.

“We kept all the toys in our living room,” Simpson said. “We moved them around every weekend or sometimes more than once a weekend, and that was not sustainable for the business or our marriage.”

“Hendersonville Toy Company is a family-owned business where we sell toys,” explained Simpson’s son, Cole, who is better known as the “Master of Fun” around the shop. He’s a salesman and focus group in one.

“There’s one that changes color when you squeeze it, one that makes noise, a popping sound,” Cole said about Nee-doh’s, a popular toy near the register.

“It’s really just great to watch him, kind of, like he’ll take over the register and is like, ‘I got this, I got this,'” said Simpson.


The home-grown business isn’t just making kids smile, according to the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce.

“When people shop locally, the tax dollars stay in the community,” Henderson County Chamber of Commerce President Bob Williford said.

Two cents of every dollar stays in the community.

“It’s supporting all of those programs the municipalities and the county are running. It could be supporting the Sheriff’s Office, it could be supporting teachers, it could be supporting all of the services provided,” Williford said.


Small businesses also circulate three times more money than chain stores in a community.


Hendersonville Toy Company compiled its own Top 10 Toy List for the 2023 Holiday Season.

Hendersonville Toy Company compiled its own Top 10 Toy List for the 2023 Holiday Season.

“When you spend money with us, we take that money and we spend it in the community,” It also gives us the freedom to donate to charities or non-profits that are local to the community,” Hendersonville Toy Company Owner Tony Simpson said.

It’s the personal touch a local shop provides, along with experience, that helps to grow mountain communities while adding to the heart of the region.

“We also want to encourage families to play together,” Simpson said.

The Hendersonville Toy Company’s anniversary is Dec. 6, 2023. They have a number of items planned to celebrate, including giving away a different flavored Macaroon every day that week to those who make a purchase. For every $10 you spend that week, they’ll enter you into a drawing for a free birthday cake supplied by Gateaux Cakes and Pastries. They’ll also be open on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Sunday with Black Friday Holiday sales.

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