NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Small businesses across western Massachusetts are ready for a tradition that’s about a decade in the making, Small Business Saturday.
2020 was a challenging year, especially for small businesses.
A survey from UPS owned company Ware2Go found about 75 percent of Americans want to support small businesses due to the impacts of the pandemic that took a toll on sales.
A survey conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management found more than 60 percent saw a loss in revenue. Yelp estimates more than 97 thousand businesses, both large and small, have permanently closed because of the pandemic. Despite all of that there is some hope. The National Retail Federation is expecting sales to total about 760 billion over the holiday season. That would be a five percent increase from last year.
The doors will open at 11:00 a.m. at Thornes Marketplace in Northampton, welcoming people to shop small in a space that’s at the heart of Northampton’s shopping district and has been for over thirty years.
Here’s what you can expect if you’re shopping in the Northampton area Saturday. First, free parking will be available in the city except for the parking garage.
Once you get inside, it’s important to remember stores like Thorne’s will have social distancing measures in place. There will be limits on how many people can be in the place at a time. Specifically in Thorne’s, there will be arrows directing indoor traffic.
If you’re looking to still support local businesses but you want to avoid any potential crowds, you might have some luck going online. A number of local shops have expanded their websites since the start of the pandemic.