Local shops hope for strong holiday season

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Struggling through the pandemic, local businesses are relying on community support this holiday shopping season.

“I think there’s a bigger emphasis (on shopping local) right now, No. 1, because we can go into stores, which we had a very limited scope of that last year,” Richard App, the retail retention and attraction specialist with the city of Grand Rapids, said. “No. 2, small businesses always rely on this time of year, but after the year we’ve had, this is a really desperate time for a lot of businesses.”

Business area are working to encourage you to drop by. For example, the Uptown neighborhood has extended its Shop Hop event to run from Nov. 16 to Dec. 24, including holiday festivities on Dec. 2. The SoDIV shopping district on South Division Avenue is having its own Shop Hop Dec. 10 and Dec. 11.

Shops also remind you that shopping in your local stores means you won’t have to worry about whether your purchases will be shipped or arrive in time for the holidays. But most importantly, App said, shopping local keeps your money here in West Michigan.

“The people that work in these stores are our neighbors,” App said. “We have to support these people, otherwise these businesses won’t make it.”

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