Small Business Update: Checking in after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday

CHICAGO (WLS) — Holiday shopping is in full swing and with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday behind us, some small businesses saw a bump in sales over the weekend.

But was it enough to offset the lost revenue from the COVID-19 pandemic?

“There’s still a good portion of people who just don’t feel comfortable coming in yet and we are negatively impacted by that,” said Richard Price, owner of the Alamo Shoes in Andersonville.

Their shelves are stocked – but the store is nearly empty because the small business just isn’t getting the foot traffic it once did before the pandemic.

But over the Black Friday weekend, things changed – for just a bit.

“Since we reopened in June, this past Friday and Saturday were the busiest days we’ve seen since June, so that is positive,” Price said.

But it’s still down in comparison to last year’s sales.

“Year over year, if we compared 2020 to 2019, I’m down about 40%,” Price said. “In those three days around Black Friday, we’re seeing around a 20% decrease in business.”

It’s a reality many local businesses in the area are facing. But some, like Bryn Mawr Jewelry, have a different story to tell.

“Without a doubt, we would not be where we are today without small business. Every sale puts food on our tables, that’s a fact,” Owner Scott Freeman said.

Freeman opened the store’s new location three weeks before the lockdown in March – but when he reopened a couple of months later, he was pleasantly surprised.

The same goes for this past weekend.

“Every day, I swear to God I have to pinch myself. Everyone’s been so supportive,” Freeman said. “People want to do something nice for themselves or nice for somebody else. I guess buy something that means a lot and will last the test of time.”

Though the coming weeks will be different for every small business – the message they’re sending is clear, they’ll need the communities’ help to survive.

“So many small businesses are closing and now more than ever small business really needs the support,” Freeman added.

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Small Business Saturday encourages shopping, spending in Aiken | Local News

Small Business Saturday is this weekend, and some Aiken retailers, merchants, services and restaurants are depending on it.

The coronavirus pandemic has walloped the U.S. economy and has pushed many small businesses over the edge – or very close to it. Restaurants and retailers were hit particularly hard as earlier lockdowns took effect.

“This time of the year, right now from Small Business Saturday to Christmas Eve, are big, important months,” Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce President and CEO J. David Jameson said Wednesday. “And, I fear some of our independent retailers are just holding on.”

Most chamber members employ just a handful of people: neighbors, friends, people seen around the city and throughout the county.

“So, we are a community made up of small businesses,” the chamber president said, “and some of these businesses have really, really struggled this year.”

The Yelp Economic Impact report, published in September, found that some 163,700 businesses had closed in the U.S. since the beginning of March, around the start of the pandemic.

Small Business Saturday was first observed years ago as a counterpart to frenetic Black Friday and online-savvy Cyber Monday, both of which draw crowds and clicks to big-box stores and multibillion-dollar companies.

Jameson emphasized that Small Business Saturday extends beyond the often-thought-of boutique or clothing store: “It’s broader than just the independent retailers, who you think of,” he said. “We’ve got small restaurants that need help. We have other kinds of small businesses that need support.”

Restaurants and caterers can be supported by buying gift cards or grabbing a meal to go. If you’re looking to do some home improvement, Jameson added, hire a local team.

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Looking for gift ideas? Black-owned Cincinnati shops to support for Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is a chance to support local business in our community.



a building with a store on the corner of a street: The store front of the Smith & Hannon Book Store on Vine Street in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.


© Sam Greene
The store front of the Smith & Hannon Book Store on Vine Street in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.

This year, due to the pandemic, our local shops have been struggling, but we can help.

This year, there is a movement saying bye to Black Friday and encouraging people to #BuyBlack Friday. This movement, from Facebook Elevate, is to get people to buy from Black-owned businesses every Friday through Black Friday.



a man standing in front of a building: Cam Means, 27, left, and Marcus Ervin, 29, the owners of Black Owned outside their new store on 822 Elm Street that opens on October 18. The store will sell clothing with the Black Owned label on the items.


© The Enquirer/Cara Owsley
Cam Means, 27, left, and Marcus Ervin, 29, the owners of Black Owned outside their new store on 822 Elm Street that opens on October 18. The store will sell clothing with the Black Owned label on the items.

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A day after Black Friday, on Nov. 28, is a holiday called Small Business Saturday. Another opportunity to give back, support local and support Black-owned businesses owners by visiting one of these stores or shopping online.

Shop local this holiday season: Check out these Cincinnati shops for Small Business Saturday

The coronavirus pandemic has been hard on small businesses, with more than 3.3 million businesses – or 22% – shutting down from February to April, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Black-owned businesses were hit even harder, with 41% closing permanently.   

Here’s a list of Black-owned small businesses worth checking out on Small Business Saturday:

If you’re hoping to get in shape …

Give the gift of personal training and classes from 1 More Rep Cincinnati Fitness CenterBody Revamped Bootcamp or Paradise Gym and Fitness Center.

If you’re looking for wellness coaching and health services, try visiting Caldwell Family Wellness, Garden of Wellness Massage Therapy and Just Essential Nutrition.

If you want to give the gift of food …

You can share a meal with a loved one at any of Cincinnati’s Black-owned restaurants. If you want to give a gift, buy a gift card.

More: Cincinnati has a lot of black-owned restaurants. Here are 25 that you should try

If you’re shopping for a fashionista …

You have a ton of options in the Queen City.

Visit Aphrodite Muse Clothing, BlaCk OWned Outerwear or Chic Life Apparel.

You can buy local jewelry from IMGBAT Art and Jewelry and Junebug Jewelry Designs.



a store front at day: The storefront of the Joseph Clark Gallery on Hamilton Avenue in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.


© Sam Greene
The storefront of the Joseph Clark Gallery on Hamilton Avenue in the Northside neighborhood of Cincinnati on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.

If you want to support local artists …

Cincinnati has a ton of Black artists with their own shops and selling works online.

If you want to support a local Black artist, buy work from Black-owned Joseph Clark Gallery. You can also buy directly from some of the 16 artists who created the Black Lives Matter mural in front of City Hall.

More: Behind the Black Lives Matter

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