Business owners encourage people to shop local for holidays

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Local businesses are readying for the holiday season, with owners emphasizing shopping small to support shops that have been hit especially hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

“Local businesses work so hard and they’re kind of the backbone of the community and if we don’t support them, they’re going to go away. It has been definitely a challenge,” Michelle Henderson, a manager at Dear Prudence clothing store in Grand Rapids, said.

Henderson says her shop’s biggest challenge has been getting people to come in.

“We do have a lot of local restaurants that are around and when they’re not open to capacity, we do miss that traffic that’s coming through, for sure,” Henderson said.

Mackenna Martin is an assistant manager at the store. She said COVID-19 has taught her team to be flexible.

“We’re definitely learning how to bob and weave during this pandemic, so we’re just learning kind of as we go,” Martin said.

“This (holiday shopping) is where a majority of their income is made for the entire year,” Rick Baker, the president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, said.
 
Baker wants people to think especially hard about where they pick up holiday goods and presents.

“This holiday season can have a significant impact on our small businesses,” he said.

The two women at Dear Prudence hope to give their customers something unique that they can’t find anywhere else.

“For people to go to big box stores instead of shopping small, it’s just really going to hurt the community and so it would be really awesome if people just continued to shop small and support local,” Martin said.

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