The holiday season is generally regarded as a good time for retail businesses, but some local businessmen say they struggle during the fall/early winter because people spend a disproportionate amount of their income on gifts and merchandise.
“Work, starting around this time, really stars slowing for contractors that are trying to survive out there,” said Ricky Keel, a repairman who owns his own business called Fence Menders.
It turns out it’s not the most wonderful time of the year, at least for fence repairman Ricky Keel.
“You know, this time of year, starting from the [Kern Co.] Fair all the way through Christmas, sometimes it can be really rough on contractors,” he said.
The money is flowing this time of year, but in retail stores and at special events such as the Kern County Fair.
The American Research Group found an average American spent $646 on gifts and merchandise during the 2011 holiday season. That number does not include money spent on travel, food, or decorations.
Add in an early-holiday season event such as a September fair, and people need to start saving somewhere so they can start splurging on gifts.
“We saved a little bit of money to come here,” said Guillermo Madrigal, who was at the Kern Co. Fair Thursday evening with his two children. “We learned last year, so we were prepared.
Madrigal estimated he spent $100 to $150 at the Fair Thursday.
17 News asked fairgoers on Thursday how much they spent or planned to spend in one day.
The lowest amount was $30…The highest? $300.
Of course, the September fair becomes October candy and costumes, then November turkey dinners, and finally December presents.
So while many businesses thrive this time of year, Keel wants people to remember workers in those industries that don’t thrive during the holiday season.
“I don’t want a handout. I want to work for my living,” he said.
Keel adds that because this time of year is so tough on repairmen, you might be able to get a bargain on a home improvement project.
“This time of year, people quit spending on [repairs]. And right now is the best time to get the best deal,” said Keel.