Shopping local encouraged ahead of holiday season to make up losses from COVID-19 pandemic

Shopping local encouraged ahead of holiday season to make up losses from COVID-19 pandemic

COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The holiday season is right around the corner and during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s more important now than ever to support local businesses.

Data from Visit Columbus, GA shows the city lost more than $17 million of potential revenue during the pandemic. However ,the team has been able to recover about a third of that so far.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact small businesses across the country, but as we head into the holiday season, small businesses like Uptown Exclusives and Your Pie need your help.

“All retail is struggling,” said Brooke Wesley, owner of Uptown Exclusives. “I mean, it’s hard for all businesses.”

Your Pie closed for about a month because business got so slow, but now the restaurant and other retail businesses are coming up with creative ways for you to shop safely.

“So, we’re doing dine-in a lot now, but we do a lot more deliveries through third parties, pickup orders, we have curbside spots outside,” General Manager Joel Oliver said.

Uptown Exclusives also offers curbside, delivery, and pickup options.

Peter Bowden from Visit Columbus, GA said the city lost millions of dollars because people are shopping online instead of locally.

“Anyone can have a big box store, but Columbus or any destination will always have a certain number of breweries that are unique, dress shops, or jewelry shops,” Bowden said. “A lot of the things they offer you can’t buy online. So, again it’s just another way of what we’re calling is shop here, shop local, and put a little here under the tree.”

When you shop local, you are putting your money right back into the community. Wesley said finding community restaurants and small businesses to frequent is the best way of giving back this holiday season.

“Help support us because if you support us, it goes back to our community so we’re all supporting one another," Wesley said.

To view the 2020 shop local list, click here.

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