Memphis shop owners hopeful for Small Business Saturday

Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 2:45 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The holiday shopping season is officially underway.

Big crowds crammed into stores for Black Friday, which is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.

Small businesses in the Mid-South are trying to get in on some of the action as part of Small Business Saturday.

When Rachel Mullen and Angelique Sloan decided to join forces and open Primas Bakery + Boutique, the cousins knew it would be quite the adventure.

But they never imagined a once-in-a-century pandemic.

“When the pandemic hit and lockdown hit, we were still very young as a business,” said Mullen. “Our business has been growing and rebuilding throughout the last year.”

The holiday season provides them a perfect opportunity to continue rebuilding thanks to shopping holidays like Small Business Saturday.

According to a Lending Tree survey, 49% of Americans plan to “shop small” this holiday season.

The whole idea behind Small Business Saturday is to provide small businesses with a much-needed boost.

After nearly two years of the pandemic, many of them could certainly use one.

Jenean Morrison, the co-owner of Cooper-Young Gallery + Gift Shop, was eager to greet customers in person for Small Business Saturday this year, after only offering online sales last year.

“It’s been really great to be able to see people in person, have them come in the shop, experience the shop, walk around,” said Morrison. “It’s a different experience than it is online.”

Although some may take small businesses for granted, a recent report from the Sycamore Institute, a nonpartisan public policy research center, showed why that’s not a good idea.

It found the number of small businesses operating in Tennessee has fallen 40 percent since the pandemic began.

With concerns growing over rising inflation, supply chain issues and a new COVID-19 variant, it makes Small Business Saturday even more important for small business owners.

“It’s really important because the money goes back into the community and we can keep getting stronger,” said Mullen.

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