Small Business Saturday gives local shops struggling amid pandemic hope to stay afloat

Local Businesses
Photo credit Getty Images

(WWJ) With Black Friday in the books, Small Business Saturday is in full swing with the aim to support local shops. Many are offering discounts and promotions to commemorate the day.

“When you look at a local business, they’re invested. They care about the community and its wellbeing,” Canton Supervisor Ann Marie Graham-Hudak said live on WWJ.

Canton is holding a challenge to buy holiday meals or gifts from three small businesses in the township and post photos on social media.

Wayne County is partnering with entrepreneurs for the “Shop Small" campaign. County leaders say small businesses are far more likely to employ local residents.

You can see a map of small businesses in your area here.

This day is more important than ever amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Oakland County Executive, Dave Coulter, said the holiday season will determine whether most small businesses survive.

“62% of U.S. small businesses with fewer than 100 employees need to see consumer spending return to pre-COVID levels by the end of 2020 in order to stay in business,” Coulter said.

A Yelp survey said in September nearly 164,000 small businesses have closed nationwide due to the pandemic, with at least 60% of those closures expected to be permanent. With record COVID-19 cases across the country, small business owners and economists fear that number will be far higher.

More than 800 small business here in metro Detroit have vanished from Yelp as of mid-November, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“Holiday shopping is always a huge economic driver, accounting for more than a third of their annual revenue for many stores,” Coulter said.

Masks and social distancing are required at all of the stores, according to Coulter. He said you can take other precautions.

“Only touch products you plan to purchase, shop during non-peak hours, and if you are at special risk for coronavirus, shop during special store hours when available.”

Since its inception in 2010, consumers nationwide have spent an estimated $120 billion during all ten “Small Business Saturdays” combined.