Local small businesses look for holiday shopping boost

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 11:45 PM EST
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AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - People are gearing up for the holidays with last-minute shopping, and with the pandemic limiting the number of shoppers, some small businesses are struggling.

The holidays are almost here, and our small businesses are looking for a little boost

“This year has been tough. It’s been tough on us. It’s been tough on a lot of businesses downtown,” Debbie Dorsey-Stinson of Return Engagement Consignment Store said.

In a time where small businesses need people to spend more, customers seem to be spending less.

“I think sales won’t be as good for anybody, people are shopping online more and more and more,” Dorsey-Stinson said.

According to Gallpus Annual Holiday Shopping poll, Americans will spend on average, $137 less than last year.

“We really don’t know what to expect. That’s really all I can say. We’ve never had anything like this before, so we don’t know. We’re hoping that we will have the same amount of people,” Sally Rich, co-owner of 3 Monkey’s Fine Gifts, said.

And she says business so far hasn’t been too slow, but on a night like Aiken’s Holiday Open House, she’s seeing a lot less traffic.

“This is not typical. Normally, this is our open house day that we do one day, and it’s usually packed with people, but we spread it out for a whole week this year. Tonight, we would probably have 50 people here and as you can see, we don’t,” Rich said.

Small businesses losing typical profit from holiday shoppers and travelers need the boost from this holiday season.

In South Carolina, over 47,000 businesses received PPP loans. In Georgia, it’s over 156,000.

Both businesses say this year they can only hope for the best.

“Let’s hope next year’s a whole new year, a better year for everybody and they can get this COVID-19 taken care of and a vaccine, and we can get back to some normalcy -- and get rid of these masks,” Dorsey-Stinson said.

Even though more people are expected to shop online this year, remember your small businesses are still open. You can find deals during Small Business Saturday, which is Nov. 28.

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