Inflation dampens otherwise bright small biz holiday season


              A customer shops at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              A customer shops at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Birthday and greeting cards are displayed as customers shop at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Jewelry and greeting card buyer Julie Archibald, left, and owner Nathan Waldon work while Waldon is interviewed at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Nathan Waldon, owner of Nathan & Co., holds a Paddywax candle while interviewed at his store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Nathan Waldon, owner of Nathan & Co., organizes items while interviewed at his store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Nathan Waldon, owner of Nathan & Co., carries an item he gift wrapped while interviewed at his store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Lego toys are shown on a shelf at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Stephanie Sala, owner of Five Little Monkeys, smiles while interviewed at her store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Stephanie Sala, owner of Five Little Monkeys, puts a item back onto the shelf while interviewed at her store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Stephanie Sala, owner of Five Little Monkeys, smiles while interviewed at her store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              A basket of plush mushrooms and animals are shown as customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              A customer shops at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              A customer shops at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Birthday and greeting cards are displayed as customers shop at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Jewelry and greeting card buyer Julie Archibald, left, and owner Nathan Waldon work while Waldon is interviewed at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Nathan Waldon, owner of Nathan & Co., holds a Paddywax candle while interviewed at his store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Nathan Waldon, owner of Nathan & Co., organizes items while interviewed at his store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Nathan Waldon, owner of Nathan & Co., carries an item he gift wrapped while interviewed at his store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Lego toys are shown on a shelf at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Stephanie Sala, owner of Five Little Monkeys, smiles while interviewed at her store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Stephanie Sala, owner of Five Little Monkeys, puts a item back onto the shelf while interviewed at her store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Stephanie Sala, owner of Five Little Monkeys, smiles while interviewed at her store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              A basket of plush mushrooms and animals are shown as customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              A customer shops at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              A customer shops at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Birthday and greeting cards are displayed as customers shop at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Jewelry and greeting card buyer Julie Archibald, left, and owner Nathan Waldon work while Waldon is interviewed at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Nathan Waldon, owner of Nathan & Co., holds a Paddywax candle while interviewed at his store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Nathan Waldon, owner of Nathan & Co., organizes items while interviewed at his store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Nathan Waldon, owner of Nathan & Co., carries an item he gift wrapped while interviewed at his store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Lego toys are shown on a shelf at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Stephanie Sala, owner of Five Little Monkeys, smiles while interviewed at her store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Stephanie Sala, owner of Five Little Monkeys, puts a item back onto the shelf while interviewed at her store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Stephanie Sala, owner of Five Little Monkeys, smiles while interviewed at her store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              A basket of plush mushrooms and animals are shown as customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              A customer shops at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              A customer shops at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Birthday and greeting cards are displayed as customers shop at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Jewelry and greeting card buyer Julie Archibald, left, and owner Nathan Waldon work while Waldon is interviewed at a Nathan & Co. store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Nathan Waldon, owner of Nathan & Co., holds a Paddywax candle while interviewed at his store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Nathan Waldon, owner of Nathan & Co., organizes items while interviewed at his store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Nathan Waldon, owner of Nathan & Co., carries an item he gift wrapped while interviewed at his store in Oakland, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Lego toys are shown on a shelf at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Stephanie Sala, owner of Five Little Monkeys, smiles while interviewed at her store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Stephanie Sala, owner of Five Little Monkeys, puts a item back onto the shelf while interviewed at her store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              Stephanie Sala, owner of Five Little Monkeys, smiles while interviewed at her store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
            
              A basket of plush mushrooms and animals are shown as customers shop at a Five Little Monkeys store in Berkeley, Calif., Monday, Dec. 12, 2022. Small retailers say this year looks much different than the last "normal" pre-pandemic holiday shopping season of 2019. They're facing decades-high inflation forcing them to raise prices and making shoppers rein in the freewheeling spending seen in 2021 when they were flush with pandemic aid and eager to spend. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Inflation dampens otherwise bright small biz holiday season