Small Business Saturday critical for local businesses amid pandemic

NOW: Small Business Saturday critical for local businesses amid pandemic

NILES, Mich. --- Wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday, a national initiative to shop local and break shoppers away from box stores or online shopping.

Small Business Saturday is more critical than ever this holiday season as local businesses are looking to make up for a big loss in sales due to the virus.

For most local businesses it’s their busiest day of the year and in Niles, they’re getting creative amid the pandemic to get shoppers downtown tomorrow.

Bryan Williams, owner of the Brass Eye in Niles is one of a handful of local businesses offering special pricing for Small Business Saturday.

 “It’s starting to be cliche, but it’s been a weird year for sure, and small businesses need our support,” Williams said.

 “It’s always tough fighting the big chains like Amazon and Walmart but this year when people are trying to stay home and not go out it makes it even harder,” Williams said. “This is a good time of year for Stouts so we’re going to have a discount on some of the seasonal and imperial barrel-aged stouts that come out this time of year.”

Niles is one of 24 Michigan Main Streets participating in a statewide campaign to promote holiday gift buying at local businesses.

With the hashtag shop small on Main Street Michigan communities are getting the word out about the benefits of shopping local.

For Williams, the benefits of shopping local outweigh shopping at any major retailer this year and even he himself is planning on holiday shopping at other small businesses.

 “You’re supporting neighbors, you’re supporting family and friends. Your supporting not just that individual business and their family but also that smaller community that business is located in.”

If you’re planning on shopping in downtown Niles for Small Business Saturday, just a reminder masks are required to enter any shop on main street.

Other COVID-19 precautions will also be in place like hand sanitizer stations and enforcing social distancing.

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