Small business owners ask for support beyond Small Business Saturday

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Local business owners are counting on community support Sunday just as much as Saturday’s Small Business Saturday.

The holiday has become more important than ever during the pandemic.

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More than 100,000 small businesses have shuttered since the beginning of the pandemic, and small business sales are down 32 percent.

That’s why November 28, Small Business Saturday, is a day many local business owners would like to see extended the rest of the year.

Recent studies show small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and make up about 44 percent of U.S. economic activity.

“We do all the things that big businesses do,” says Sandra Peruzzi, Blue Moon Gift Shop‘s owner, “but we keep the money in the community. Because all the people that work here are local, and the vendors are local.”

But right now, many businesses that make Wilmington unique need community support. Businesses like Rosalie’s Trattoria, a family owned and operated Italian restaurant that started as an idea cooked up at home.

“Food has always been a passion,” says Rosalie Cervini, the restaurant’s namesake.

We grew up in Italian families, growing up in the kitchen with mom and grandma and learning to cook and tasting food. Everything evolved around food in our family. We like creating just comfort food. Happiness in a bowl.”

They and others like Island Passage are now being put to the test, having to provide comfort to those in the community the best and safest ways they know how.

According to Kristyn Prentice, owner of Island Passage, “The customers thank us for looking out for them. They feel like they have a safe space to be in and to do something that they feel traditional and normal.”

Of course, a small business doesn’t have to be your traditional retail store or restaurant. According to Don Harty, it could be an adventure:

“It just feels good to get outside instead of being cooped up all day.”

An experience that leaves your family with memories instead of receipts, like the family owned Mahanaim Kayak Adventures.

“You never know what’s going to happen on an adventure. But, it also creates memories. And those memories, and developing those relationships are the things that’s going to 10, 15, 20 years from now their going to make the difference and create family history.”

Some of the best ways to support small businesses while socially distancing involve:

  • Buying gift cards
  • Doing holiday shopping locally instead at retail chain stores
  • Telling friends and family about your favorite local businesses

So this holiday season, business owners hope you support small businesses, and give your loved ones a gift that gives back to the community.