Small business owners urge people to shop local this holiday season

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Black Friday is only a few days away. The pandemic has been hard on everyone, and it’s also been tough for small businesses. 

Danny Killion owns Weathered Wood in Troy. He handcrafts and sells home and wedding decor out of driftwood that washes ashore from local rivers. Like many small business owners, he said the pandemic hasn’t been easy, but he’s doing his best to stay afloat financially.

“I did close to 30 weddings last wedding season,” explained Killion. “This wedding season, I probably did three, and they were backyard weddings. Socially distant weddings.”

Killion said to help ensure that his business survives, he has picked up a second job for extra income. The pandemic causing him to lose out on thousands of dollars in revenue.

In Albany, Alacrity Frame Workshop Owner, Brian Shae, said early on in the pandemic business was down, but since reopening this summer it has improved. He is encouraging everyone to shop local this holiday season.

“Traditionally we have always taken frame jobs right up until a couple of days before Christmas to get it done in time,” stated Shea.

Melissa O’Connor, President & CEO of the Retail Council of New York State told NEWS10 that retail businesses are resilient and are doing their best to help keep employees and customers safe.

“As you may know, the holiday shopping season has already started, and that has been by design,” explained O’Connor. “So, come Black Friday and as we get closer to Christmas, you won’t see the crowds in stores like you would in a typical year.”

She added that if you do want to go out shopping, it’s best to wear a mask and to wash your hands in an effort to help prevent the spread of germs.

“Please come out and shop small,” Killion stated. “And keep us around because businesses are dropping like flies.”

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