ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — We all know how important it is to shop local. But this year during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s vital to keep some businesses running. We caught up with some local shop owners who say their goal this year was to keep customers safe.
“You know, safety is the biggest thing we’re working on,” said Jarrod Hennis, the owner of Rockford Art Deli.
On ‘Small Business Saturday,’ many local shops are hoping to boost their sales after many losses from the pandemic. Rockford Art Deli Owner Jarrod Hennis says he prioritizes his shoppers’ safety.
“We’re following all of the protocols, wearing masks, cleaning hands, trying to limit the store to 12 people if we can. But you know, just physically distancing and you know just keeping things safe as much as we can,” Hennis added.
For customers who don’t feel safe entering a store, online shopping or curbside pickup is an option.
“Our biggest thing is if you don’t feel safe you can shop online. All of our items are online so if it makes it easier you can do curbside pickup,” he said.
Down the street, Bath and Body Fusion Owner Jenny Ralston tells us it has been a difficult year but she appreciates the support from her customers.
“It just makes my heart so happy. We pour our whole heart and soul into this business and handmaking the products for the community and making it look magical for the holidays. So it just makes my heart so happy to see everyone comin’ out today,” Ralston said.
Both owners say they are grateful for customers helping them stay afloat.
“The biggest thing though is to support local. Like, deals or no deals, you should be out supporting your local economy in any way you can,” Hennis said.
“Get out and support everything local you can. I share it almost everyday on my social media accounts. Shopping local means more than ever this year. Being a small business owner it’s never easy in the town of Rockford or any town for that matter. So it really does make a huge impact,” added Ralston.
With winter coming, small businesses continue to encourage the entire community to shop locally. Residents made it out Saturday to show their support.
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