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Holiday spending trends: Special event designed to help small businesses plan for growth 

With the holiday season fast approaching, Union Bank in November hosted a special discussion featuring small business clients and experts focused on holiday spending trends, and how small businesses can grow sales during the holidays and beyond.

Holiday Spending Trends 2022 Event - Helping Small Businesses Plan for Growth
From left on stage are Susan Hirasuna, Chelsea Shukov, Emmanual Rodriguez, Maria Salinas, Everett Sands, and Devon Bray.

The discussion was held in Downtown Los Angeles and featured Maria Salinas, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce; Everett Sands, CEO of minority-owned small business lender Lendistry; Chelsea Shukov, a client and founder and creative director of high-end stationery company Sugar Paper; client Emmanuel Rodriguez, owner of baking supply company Baker’s Bodega Express; and Union Bank Small Business Program Manager Devon Bray.

It was hosted by Todd Hollander, Head of Business Banking and Small Business for Union Bank, and moderated by Fox 11 Los Angeles anchor Susan Hirasuna.

A replay of the panel discussion can be viewed here.

The discussion was informed in part by the 2022 Union Bank Holiday Spending Survey, which gathered findings from consumers and small business owners across the United States. Among the shopping and spending trends in the survey’s findings are:

  • Consumers plan to spend with more intent and purpose this holiday season, seeking out ways to save because of inflation and partaking in more spending on traveling to visit family and making charitable donations.
  • Consumers feel more responsibility to support small businesses, with 85 percent of consumers surveyed saying that spending money at a small business while holiday shopping is “money well spent.”
  • Consumers are less concerned about COVID-19 safety protocols this year and care more about cost and the overall shopping experience.

Among the topics and trends panelists discussed was using social media to attract and engage with customers.

Rodriguez said he has had success using TikTok, Instagram and Facebook to share videos about baking and other topics. He has built a studio to increase video production quality.

Shukov said Sugar Paper has more than 100,000 Instagram followers as well as a private Facebook group she uses for research and development, gathering feedback on new items or items being designed.

Salinas encouraged small business owners to work with trusted advisors, including bankers, to get guidance on improving their businesses.

Sands recommended that business owners have a good understanding of their profit-and-loss statement and use it to help identify revenue streams to focus on growing.

Bray encouraged small business owners to be courageous about asking for help when they need it.

“Ask the hard questions,” she said. “Don’t be afraid.”

About 100 clients, bankers, community leaders, and former panelists attended the event, which was held at the Bike Shed Motorcycle Company, a new small business in the Los Angeles Arts District.

The survey was the fourth in a series of annual holiday spending surveys Union Bank has conducted.


Learn more about business banking services from Union Bank.


Written by Erik Battenberg