Small businesses look for consumers’ support during holiday shopping season

A sign outside of a small business reinforces that shopping local this holiday is extra...
A sign outside of a small business reinforces that shopping local this holiday is extra important as businesses struggle during the pandemic.(wifr)
Published: Nov. 30, 2020 at 1:48 PM CST
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(Gray News) - Small businesses are hoping for extra support this holiday season as the coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on sales.

A boost in holiday sales could be the difference between a local shop staying in business or shutting its doors.

According to the September 2020 Local Economic Impact Report from Yelp, a massive amount of small businesses have already closed for good.

“As of August 31, 163,735 total U.S. businesses on Yelp have closed since the beginning of the pandemic,” the report said.

Of those businesses, restaurants have been hit the hardest, especially ones not known for takeout or delivery services. Tens of thousands of retail shops, like clothing and home stores, have also closed their doors.

The Better Business Bureau offers tips on how consumers can support local businesses during the holiday shopping season:

  • Shop locally online: Some businesses have turned their brick and mortar stores exclusively into online stores for the time being. Businesses are also doing pickup and delivery as well.
  • Order takeout: Many local restaurants, cafes and bakeries are still offering food for takeout even if they don’t allow in-person dining.
  • Buy gift cards: People who purchase gift cards can use them for themselves or as a gift for another person, and it immediately helps the local businesses.
  • Thrift a gift: Many thrift stores are tied to nonprofit organizations that help community members. These stores could offer items on people’s wish lists at discounted rates, and the stores appreciate donations from the public.
  • Virtual classes: You can still give the gift of entertainment through people and businesses that have switched to online events and classes. Art galleries, yoga studios, bars and restaurants have switched to online events and classes in order to maintain social distancing while bringing together patrons at the same time.

There are several ways people can support local businesses without spending a dime, including writing positive online reviews and following their social media accounts.

Even though a lot of businesses have pivoted the way they operate in order to stay afloat during these times, they may be struggling to survive in these tough economic times. This is why the holiday season is a crucial time for many of these owners if they want to continue operating into 2021.

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