HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Small businesses across the U.S. have fallen victim to the effects brought on by the pandemic. So, with Black Friday in the rearview mirror, many were hoping “Small Business Saturday” would bring some of their business back.
More than 100,000 small businesses have been affected by the pandemic in one way or another. From gift shops to restaurants, many of those businesses have been forced to close their doors for good.
According to the Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker at Harvard University, from the beginning of the year until November 16th, the small business revenue plunged more than 30%.
“Small Business Saturday” has been around for years and is designed to promote “shopping small.” An event like this has never been so needed as in 2020.
In the Old Central City in Huntington, West Virginia, the area is filled with small business owners like Keyamo Onoge and Amber Bentley.
Onoge says his products are unique in that you can’t find them in your average store
I like creating stuff, so I’m big into DIY stuff. I do like photo transfers like that piece.Keyamo Onoge – small business owner
But this year has been a whole new experience for the shop owners like Onoge and Bentley. Onoge says since the pandemic first hit, “this year has just been a roller coaster for so many people.”
The National Federation of Independent Businesses estimates that one in five small business owners say they will have to shut down if the economic conditions don’t improve in the next six months.
This year’s event coordinator Lauren Kemp says every little bit helps when it comes to foot traffic for the area’s small businesses.
Just to be able to have this small kind of showing of local community support means a lot to the shop keepers here.Lauren Kemp, event coordinator
Many of those participating on Saturday plan to offer the same deals on Sunday. For more information on the Shop Small event, click here.