'Been a tough year': Small Business Saturday gives boost to Bay Area retail economy

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- Small businesses in the Bay Area are hoping for a merry and bright holiday shopping season, after a difficult struggle with the pandemic. On this small business Saturday, store owners are hoping the community will come through and support them.

Lindsay Greco wanted a unique holiday gift and decided to make a detour away from the mall towards Sustainable Exchange in downtown Novato.

"We're trying to get some early Christmas shopping done, and support our local local businesses," said Greco.

And that's the point of small business Saturday.

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"It's been a tough year, tested what we thought we knew about running a store," said Sustainable Exchange owner Dan Maher.

Maher says this year, it's more important than ever to support small business owners, the pandemic was crushing but businesses is bouncing back with shoppers looking for one of a kind gifts.

"In our store, specifically, we try to source everything within 20 miles, most of what you see is a local product," Maher added.

Between managing supply chain issues and competing for workers, small businesses are trying to make up for lost revenue.

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Jeannie Jarnot did some marketing on social media to attract shoppers to her store, Beauty Heroes.

"The last year and a half has been challenging, traffic was slow. Coming in this morning there was a line out the door, encouraging," said Jarnot.

Small retailers hope shoppers will consider them over big box retailers.

American Express estimates spending locally keeps an average of 67 cents on the dollar in that business's community.

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"I just want to spend money in the community, supporting local businesses, especially after the pandemic," said shopper Vicky Jones.

"The families and the individuals that are in these businesses need our help, it's been a tough year and a half," said Greco.

Holiday shopping season is here, small retailers hope it will be merry, bright and profitable.

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