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The Squeeze: Experts Suggest Shopping For Locally Made Gifts To Avoid Supply Chain Issues This Holiday Season

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Shopping for the holidays has an extra sense of urgency this year with the ongoing container ship backups impacting the supply chain, but there are some gift ideas that are guaranteed to make it under your tree before it's too late.

Ron Menin is gearing up for the holiday season. As he stocks his shelves and packages his bottles, the New York native who owns Hell's Kitchen Hot Sauce knows business might be different this year.

"There's been trouble with, like, supply chain," he said.

But that trouble is giving Menin and some of the 170 other small retail owners at Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park an advantage because many of them don't have to rely on products coming from overseas.

It's one of the reasons experts say shoppers should look local.

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"I make everything myself, 60-80 case micro-batches in an FDA-approved commercial kitchen in Queens," Menin told CBS2's Cory James.

Carolyn Butler, located a few shops away, has a similar situation.

"No supply chain issues here," she said.

She owns Borobabi, a children's and women's clothing store that makes local organic merchandise.

"We manufacture our own sweaters here in New York. So the fiber comes from alpaca wool in New York state. We spin it in Pennsylvania, and then we knit it here in Brooklyn," she said.

While most mom-and-pop stores are in a more favorable position with supply than big box retailers, small business expert Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins says shoppers can capitalize on alternative gifts sold just about anywhere.

"Try some food products, you know, little items like jellies and honeys," she said. "Candles, things like that that are locally made."

READ MORE: Supply Chain Issues Causing Headaches, Frustration For Mom-And-Pop Retailers In New York

Some of those items can be found online. For example, Etsy has more than 4.7 million available listings on its marketplace that can be shipped from the Tri-State Area, and that's just one site.

"A lot of merchants are on Instagram as well and you can send them DMs. A lot of vintage sellers, for instance, are on Instagram too, so yeah, there's lots of other options," said Maxine Builder, editor for The Strategist. "And it's a great way also for the consumer to guarantee that the gift that they're buying is going to be in their hands in time for Christmas."

Experts say if you haven't started shopping already, you should now. This year, many big box retailers are starting Black Friday deals early.

Don't forget to check price comparison apps and stay away from third-party sites where costs are usually higher.

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