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Photo By Clay Banks, Unsplash

By Gabriel Escalera

New Alignment For Small Local Businesses

December 2nd, 2021

OMAHA – “I’m Rajeev Sharma and my store name is Moksha.”

As supply chain issues have put a damper on the holiday shopping season, small businesses are just as, if not more vulnerable, than larger corporations.

Moksha, located in the Old Market Passageway in downtown Omaha, has seen the effects of these problems over the past few months.

Now in its eleventh year of business, Moksha originally specialized in Indian handicrafts, gifts, and jewelry.

“Then we have add on from Turkey, from Egypt, from Czech Republic, from Russia,” Sharma said. “So we have all artifacts from the all over the world, but my store is a big name for silver jewelry and handmade scarves, silk and pashmina.”

Because their products come in from all over the world, it is to be expected that Sharma and his business would be affected by recent supply chain problems. He said his business originally faced product issues during the pandemic, as did many local businesses, but now it’s becoming more of an inconvenience.

Overall, Sharma said he has seen a much greater product delay in the recent months.

“Our merchandise used to come within, you can say two to three weeks,” Sharma explained. “Now, it is taking over two months.”

Despite this setback, Sharma said his business has been doing well. He attributes that to one thing.

“62 percent is my repeat business,” Sharma said. “So they love my stuff.”

So what can other local businesses learn from Moksha’s success?

While a steady customer base certainly can’t hurt, UNO Assistant Professor of Supply Chain Management, Dr. Anh Ta, said there are other factors that have likely helped businesses like Moksha, and will benefit others in the future.

“Of course, market is always competitive. So, if you want to stay in any business in any environment, you need to have a competitive advantage,” Ta said. “You need to have something unique.”

Moksha’s handmade, imported goods certainly fulfill the need for unique products. The other suggestion Ta gave to small businesses was to be competitive in pricing.

While he acknowledged that it may be difficult for local businesses to compete with corporations in terms of prices, Ta said he believes the quality of local, unique products may be enough to encourage consumers to shop local this holiday season.

“If you have high prices, I’m willing to buy it, but your quality is not really good,” Ta explained. “So local business, I really think that we should go to the side of the quality.”

Small business Saturday may have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still shop local this holiday season.


Author; Bre Smith