Small business owners hope holiday shopping will help them rebound from COVID impacts

Posted at 6:48 PM, Nov 27, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Small business owners say they hope a busy holiday shopping season can help them make up some of the losses they've seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For stores at East Nashville's Shoppes at Fatherland, Black Friday looked different than it has in previous years.

"I have hand sanitizer placed throughout the store," Randi Michaels Block, the owner of Pauli's Place Boutique said. "I have free masks for people that need them, too."

Michaels Block said the weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas are typically the most important for small businesses, and they are made even more critical this year because of COVID-19.

"November and December really carry us through the leaner months, so the sales during those months are very important," she explained. "2020 was rough for everyone, and for small businesses its been a challenge just to keep our doors open."

Small stores across the country have been hit especially hard by the impacts of COVID-19. A study from Yelp says nearly 100-thousand businesses have permanently closed since the start of the pandemic. Pauli's Place had to close it's doors for three months in the spring, as the virus first spiked in Nashville.

"Our sales between this year and last year, I cant even tell you, it's huge. There's a huge difference," Michaels Block said. Now she and other small business owners are hoping holiday sales, starting with this weekend, can help make up that difference.

"Our sales honestly are down tremendously, but we're still here, and my hope is we'll continue to be here for a long time to come," she said.