COVID-19 has wrecked small businesses this year. A study from Yelp in September reported that 60 percent of business closures were due to the pandemic.
So, holiday shoppers seeking Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales after Thanksgiving shouldn’t overlook another opportunity to check off their Christmas lists and help local stores: Small Business Saturday.
First observed in 2010, Small Business Saturday encourages people to shop small and local rather than in big-box stores.
“I’ve been in business nine years now, and I notice a lot of people shop here locally on Black Friday, but maybe this year, with COVID, it’ll be totally different,” said Pat Pucik, owner of Rods, Barrels, & Strings in Marble Falls. “Small Business Saturday is usually when things pick up.”
Rods, Barrels, & Strings will have giveaways and sales this year, Pucik said, but with the pandemic, it’s hard to know if shoppers will come out in force.
However, there are some signs of hope, said Rae Lorance of Rae’s Bar and Grill in downtown Marble Falls. Her numbers this October outpaced those from last year. And, when people come out to eat, they usually do a little shopping, too.
“I think that downtown (Marble Falls) is thriving because everyone is getting out of (bigger cities) to get to smaller towns,” she said. “It’s bizarre.”
How her restaurant does during the holiday season is tied to how well shopping is going downtown, she said.
“People, especially girls, they want to shop, and they want to eat, have a mimosa, and shop some more,” she said.
For Jeff Ford of Ford & Crew Home and Hardware in Marble Falls, Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to remind residents that local businesses are their neighbors.
“Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity to celebrate our nation’s entrepreneurial spirit and inspire people to do something positive for their community by supporting local business,” he said.
“When you support a small business, you are supporting a dream,” he added.