An Attitude of Gratitude for Local Sedona Businesses



November 24, 2023


With a blink of an eye, the holidays are upon us. It’s hard to believe how fast time is moving.

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year. It is the perfect time to enjoy family and friends, eat good food and relax a bit. It’s also a good time for good deals!

We have Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year, and Small Business Saturday, which supports our local businesses. There’s Cyber Monday, with lots of deals online for holiday shopping and Giving Tuesday which serves as a reminder to give back to the many organizations that need assistance this time of year.

The next four weeks are important for our local businesses, as the National Retail Federation forecasts that holiday spending is expected to reach record levels during November and December and will grow between 3% and 4% over 2022.

This holiday season, consumers are steadfast in their intent to live in the moment and make it memorable. They plan to spend an average of $1,652 this season, surpassing pre-pandemic figures for the first time.

According to a survey by Deloitte Insights, nearly a third of shopper’s budgets will be spent in the last two weeks of November, with 78% active shoppers during that period.

The $50K – $99K and $200K+ income groups are feeling more confident as their spending increases by $315 (+26%) and $709 (+22%) year over year, respectively.

This is good news for retail businesses and serves as a reminder to Shop Local and support Sedona’s business community. Our small businesses account for the largest share of new jobs generated each year and provide some of the most stable employment opportunities in our area. Tourism supports over 10,000 jobs in Sedona and generates over $240 million in wages. According to Local First Arizona, when you shop at a locally owned business, 45 cents of every dollar stays in Arizona. National chains contribute only 13 cents to our economy.


Thanksgiving also serves as a reminder to be grateful for what we have instead of always reaching for something new.

The word grateful comes from the Latin word “gratus,” which means “pleasing” or “thankful.” Thankfulness is a reaction while gratitude is a chosen state of being. Being grateful is having the attitude of gratitude.

As President and CEO of the Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau, I am very grateful for the many partnerships we have cultivated this year. For the resiliency of my own spirit to weather the changes that took place and the strength to see them through. For the wonderful opportunity to continue to serve our incredible business community. And, for our amazing Board of Directors and our professional team at the SCC&TB for their hard work and dedication to our partners.

David Steindl-Rast a Benedictine monk, author and lecturer said, “It is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful. The more grateful I am, the more beauty I see.”

Even in the most beautiful place on earth, we can never witness too much beauty — Beauty in the exchange between friends; beauty in the politeness among strangers; and beauty in the way we go about our days here on this earth. So, this weekend, while you’re shopping local, notice the beauty in the exchange, and the support you are providing our hard-working merchants who are your friends and neighbors. The connection is much deeper than just purchasing a product.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Michelle Conway Kostecki, President/CEO
Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau