GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As you're doing your holiday shopping, you might want to think about shopping local. Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, which are next week, are a critical shopping period for small business owners.
Some shop owners said this year's holiday sales are really important for them because of all the challenges in the last year-and-a-half, including the COVID-19 pandemic, shipping supply issues, increased costs of goods and more.
The owners of Dime And Regal on Wealthy Street said the upcoming Black Friday and Small Business Saturday feel different than last year.
"I think it's just this huge anxiety this year because we're not really sure what to expect," said Samantha McIntosh, one of the owners of the jewelry store and studio.
"Last year, all-around, everyone knew it was hard," said Courtney Jones, another owner. "Everyone was getting through it and the community was backing you."
Both women are hopeful they'll have the community's support again this year, especially since it has been hard to hire staff and they've dealt with shipping supply issues.
"Boxes and bags and materials. Things are delayed so we're doing our best to stay on top of that," McIntosh said.
Katie DeVries owns Katie & Company, a décor and art consignment shop in Newaygo. She has been dealing with increased costs for wood and finding equipment has been difficult. She encourages people to shop local.
"You're feeding a family," DeVries said. "You're providing the funds for them to continue fueling their passion. I think the more we support local, the better we do as a community."
If you're going to shop local next weekend, you can expect to see some special promotions.
"We've been doing really well with the gift cards. We're going to do $50 and you'll get an extra $10," DeVries said.
At Dime and Regal, customers at the counter can pick a pouch off the Christmas tree. Inside the pouch will be a discount for Black Friday or gemstones, but one lucky winner will win a black diamond necklace.
According to Small Business Saturday's Facebook page, 78% of business owners surveyed say holiday sales will impact their ability to stay in business in 2022.
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