Small businesses look to the new year after past challenges

Small businesses look to the new year after past challenges

“It’s definitely going to be a busy next couple of weeks for sure with returns, exchanges, and people wanting to use their gift cards and money that they got over Christmas,” said Carson Wiley, sales associate and social media manager.

Escape Outdoors is anticipating an active post-holiday season.


  • “Most of the stuff is kind of out of stock, you’ve got to get the timing right whenever you order it,” said Wiley.

  • It comes after the store has battled supply chain shortages with major sellers like kayaks, bikes, and t-shirts.

“We’ve basically been getting in other brands that have a little bit better stock, um they’re basically all the same all around but getting those other brands, getting more options in for people has been something we’ve been doing,” he said.

But, Wiley said they’ve found ways to overcome.

And in the new year they hope to get even more products in stock.

“We definitely hope to expand some of the brands that we already have,” said Wiley. “We hope to expand our biking you know and that department. Scott which has been a pretty big seller for the mountain biking scene, they’ve been pretty much out of stock so we hope to get some of their bikes in.”

The impact of this year was not only felt by Escape Outdoors and other retailers, but also The Bees Knees, a local coffee shop, who reopened after the pandemic. “We’ve just kind of re-evaluated what we were going to do as a business and decided to come back as a new concept,” said Eric Kinlah, the owner.

It was a decision met with mixed emotions. But as 2022 gets closer, they’re hopeful for what is to come. “What we’re doing is um, it’s something that we’re passionate about,” said Kinlah. “My staff is really excited for the direction we’re taking things and I just want other people to experience that as well.”

Wiley said Escape Outdoors is hopeful for the new year as they aim to expand the products they carry to new brands. The Bees Knees is looking ahead to 2022, as more people start to visit downtown Augusta.

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