Shopping local, small businesses is more than a sentiment; it’s a must

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For months, boutiques and small shops had to shut their doors due to the pandemic

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – There’s been a big push to support small business this year, but there’s also a push to stay home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

For months, boutiques and small shops had to shut their doors due to the pandemic. Once they were open, getting customers in was tough. Things are picking up for the holidays but for local places like Blush Boutique, in Boardman, these are the months that they rely on.

“The months of October, November, December, carry us almost for the whole year. It’s our biggest time of the year,” said owner Susi Schultz.

Kollin Chuppa and Kelsey Klimm own K Squared Marketing. They say supporting one local business can help another one.

“When the community goes out and supports these other local businesses, they then, in turn, use their resources to hire us to do their marketing,” Chuppa said.

The same goes for businesses like real estate and the trades. And not only is it supporting other companies, but it’s also supporting those in need.

For Blush, the fundraiser they do every year almost didn’t happen because of COVID, but they figured out a way to still support their community.

“Yesterday, we presented the Rescue Mission with $3,010 that we raised in less than 72 hours for a raffle here,” Schultz said.

Shopping online has its perks. You hop on and with the click of a button, you can have gifts delivered to your door. Small shops are getting on board with that, too.

Local businesses have done a really good job of pivoting their business practices to include a more robust online buying option,” Kollin said.

Schultz said she offered curbside service and delivery.

“We will do that now. If somebody needs us to deliver gift cards, whatever it is, we are ready and willing to be able to do that,” she said.

Supporting a local business can happen with your purchase, but sometimes supporting your favorite businesses on social media is a type of currency, too, business owners say.

“It’s not all monetary. It can be as simple as a like, share, comment, or review for you favorite local retailer or your favorite restaurant, and that’s gonna pay dividends,” Klimm said.

Schultz said one thing you get when you shop small is that personal touch, where the people in the store know you and remember your face – with or without a mask. She says that’s something people have really enjoyed, especially these days.

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