NewsLocal News


Small businesses relying on holiday shopping turnout

Posted at 6:45 PM, Nov 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-27 19:54:32-05

On any other year these sidewalks would be packed with holiday shoppers. But due to the pandemic it's quiet with many shoppers choosing to stay home and social distance this year.

"Normally we go to Lincoln for the holiday, but this year because of COVID we just wanted it to be him and I and just be careful and safe,” said Tessa Jones. “It gave us extra days to shop Old Market, so I said let's do it."

Jones hit the shops this Black Friday – and immediately noticed less foot traffic and empty stores.

"I was out earlier this morning out in Council Bluffs at the Target, which was also completely dead. I couldn't believe it and came back because I just thought that I needed to give my money to the local businesses,” she said.

She is not the only shopper choosing to keep their dollar local.

ALSO SEE: Some shoppers stick to tradition on Black Friday

Some shoppers stick to tradition on Black Friday

"They are our neighbors and I think anytime we shop with them then they can spend money here in Omaha, too," said Deborah Trivitt.

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are major money makers that small businesses rely on – especially in a year where many have been hit hard financially.

According to an American Express study, 75 percent of small business owners say they need holiday spending to return to normal in order to stay in business next year.

"It actually has been kind of picking up more recently so hopefully in the next couple weeks we can see more people come out,” said PJ Graham, store manager at Raygun.

Graham says by embracing masks and social distancing, it has made customers feel more comfortable shopping in person. He hopes this, and with a vaccine in sight, it's the turnaround local stores need.

"I think right now it's extremely crucial to shop local and to shop small," he said. "We give back to the community,” he said.

Many of the small business owners 3 News Now spoke with are foregoing shopping deals this year because of the crucial need to make up money lost in the pandemic.

Download our apps today for all of our latest coverage.

Get the latest news and weather delivered straight to your inbox.