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Small business owners are hoping holiday shopping will help them recover from COVID-19

Many locally-owned businesses experienced huge losses from the pandemic and are hoping holiday shopping will give them the boost they need.

SAN ANGELO, Texas — Black Friday marks the beginning of the busiest time of the year for retail stores.

"This is the bulk of what we ramp up for," said Tammy Shoults, one of the owners of Eggemeyer's General Store. 

In past years, the large crowds and never-ending orders might fill small business owners with stress or dread. However, after struggling to make it through the COVID-19 pandemic and its resulting shutdowns, business owners in the Concho Valley are more than ready for the increased business.

"Today has been swamped. It's not like it was last year when we had 200 people waiting outside of the door, but it is very, very good. We're very pleased with the results for today," said Barbara Strain, the owner of Sassy Fox Boutique.

Strain said her store was down $275,000 earlier this year, and while business has been picking up, she is hopeful holiday shopping will give her business the added boost it needs.

"It's very important because the end of the year is when we recover and make all of our money," she said.

Shoults agreed: "I mean, that's when you make the bulk of everything that seems possible. It's what we gear up for all year," she said. 

During this holiday season, Strain wants to encourage members of the community to shop local.

"I just want to tell people to shop local this year. I know it's tempting if you're shopping online. I know a lot of people shop on Amazon - that's ok, I do that too - but if you can shop local for something, it will help your community, help these businesses that need people to shop locally in order to survive," she said.

On Saturday, stores will celebrate Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting small businesses and communities across the country.