BIRMINGHAM, Mich. (WXYZ) — With Black Friday wrapped up, shoppers across the country turned to Small Business Saturday to tick off their holiday gift list.
And this shopping season is important for local retailers because for many, it may be a make-or-break time, especially in smaller cities.
"They want to have towns with unique boutiques and cafes that they can come to and spend their day. But sometimes people forget that if they don’t support the businesses, they are not going to survive, and these towns won't exist," said Cary Martin, the owner of Petite Cabane in Birmingham.
Martin says the pandemic made matters worse.
"I shut my doors on my one-year anniversary. That was super challenging, and I hadn’t built my website or any way to reach out to the community yet," Martin said.
Katie Johnston from Sundance Shoes in Birmingham says this year, business during the holiday season is more important than ever.
"I have so many friends and people that I know that didn’t make it through the pandemic, and we have to support those who did, so we can keep going," Johnston, the co-owner of Sundance Shoes, said.
And it seems like most Americans are ready to support the cause. A recent Lending Tree survey shows that in the new normal, 63% of consumers will shop at small businesses this weekend.
In fact, the National Retail Federation study reveals that 58.1 million people plan to shop on Small Business Saturday.
That’s why dad and daughter-owned Sundance Shoes is making sure there is something for everyone at their store.
"We really think about our customers when we bring merchandise in, so we try to have shoes for every age woman, at every price point, so everyone can shop at our store," Johnston said.
Meanwhile, Marlene Mansour from Urban Wick Candle Bar says beside holiday deals, her store, which was launched last year, offers visitors the perfect getaway.
"Get together, just kind of relax, take a pause and have a scented experience and just not think about what's happening in the world," Mansour said.
According to the Small Business Administration, for every dollar spent on local retailers, 67 cents goes back into the community. That's why small business owners are encouraging people to support their neighborhood by shopping at their local stores first before hitting up the big retail outlets.