Local shops see increase in foot traffic for Small Business Saturday, but nowhere near breaking even

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — This year, local businesses have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. While several have resorted to reducing staff, limiting store hours or shutting down completely, they’re now relying on ‘Small Business Saturday’ to boost them into 2021.

“These shops have been here longer than I have,” said Shopper Ryan Nail. “To be able to support the community in that way, I take pride in that.”

Despite COVID-19concerns, South Congress saw an effort from community members to support local businesses Saturday.

“Coming in and shopping at a place that I have for the last 14-years, it’s awesome,” said Nail. “Sometimes when you’re shopping online, it’s not what you ordered. I enjoy being able to touch the product. While we are all social distancing inside, I also still appreciate seeing people.

Many of Austin’s staples have been struggling to keep up this year. Despite the support from Austinites Saturday, there’s still a very different scene from 2019.

“Last year, we were so overwhelmed inside the store. Customers were everywhere you looked,” said Allens Boots Assistant Manager, Ruben Saucedo.

Liz Scirica, Esby General Manager (Right)

When the pandemic first hit that all changed, so Allens Boots went from traditional brick-and-mortar to bringing people on virtual boot tours.

“We’re just really lucky that we’re one of those small businesses that’s pulled through 2020,” said Liz Scirica, Esby General Manager.

Esby, an Austin-based clothing brand moved locations weeks ago to hopefully gain more foot traffic.

“This year has been extremely difficult for us being a small business,” said Scirica. “We’re cautiously optimistic and have high hopes for our retail over the holidays.

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales expected to dominate the retail market, these local businesses are continuing to rely on their fellow Austinites.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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