BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — “This year, more than any other year, it’s very important to support small businesses,” declared Joel Feroleto, Delaware District Common Council Member.
Some small businesses are hanging by a thread because of the on-going pandemic.
Shopping local has never been more important to small businesses and now everyone is being asked to buy local as they holiday shop.
Lawmaker Feroleto joined both leaders of the Elmwood Village and Hertel Avenue Business associations to encourage local shopping and promote Small Business Saturday.
Elmwood Avenue shop owner Johanna Dominguez marks the sidewalk with chalk for social distancing while operating in an 'orange zone' in Buffalo.
Only ten shoppers at a time will be allowed inside her plant shop.
Dominguez opened “Put A Plant On It” in August in the midst of the pandemic. But now she's bracing for a possible change to a ‘red zone’ that could shut her down.
“I’m fully expecting it to happen at some point and I've already made preparations,” remarked Dominguez.
Other Elmwood shop owners feel the same.
The owner of Thin Ice, also on Elmwood Avenue, said they are waiting for the other shoe to drop.
“It’s on the horizon for sure, but we've all been preparing for it. We’re working on our web sites around the clock,” replied Therese Deutschalnder, business owner & president, Elmwood Village Association.
Businesses are working to be more creative to entice shoppers. At Thin Ice Santa will be in the window. You can take a safe selfie and also purchase a personalized video for $15.
Business owners are urging the community to shop local. Shoppers on Elmwood said they want to support local businesses.
Three young woman visiting from Rochester were browsing along the Elmwood strip on Black Friday.
“This year — to be honest — I’m going to do a lot of it on-line, but we just wanted to come out and support the local businesses,” said Lexi Bouchard.
“Just looking for Christmas gifts along my way,” responded Kaityln Russell.
“Just looking — see what we can find,” laughed Colleen Embury,
Along the Hertel shopping district in north Buffalo a sandwich board sign outside Bon Fire Craft on states “Shop small — help your community in a huge way”.
Hertel business owners fearing a ‘red zone’ shutdown.
“It’s hard know what to anticipate — I mean it's been a really tough year,” replied
Sajban was closed back in March, but she says closing during the holiday season could be crushing.
“December can make or break a small business and so for us to not even know whether we are going to be open in a few days is difficult,” explained Sajban.
Council member Feroleto said so many small, Buffalo business had to close for several months because of COVID and now continue facing restrictions.
“We’re in a really critical point with the small businesses right now,”stated Feroleto. "To see a lot of them succeed and be open next year, they are going to have to have strong Decembers."
Hertel businesses are also encouraging shoppers to buy a $25 pendant and fill it up with pins from various businesses.
“If you spend over $20 at their business — you get a small pin to put on your pendant — that way you shop local — you shop small and it helps everybody in the community,” said Judy Porto, president, Hertel Business Association.
“I think that's what Buffalo is great for — you know — supporting their neighbors,” Sajban reflected.