COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Many small businesses in the Short North are relying on their customers to keep them afloat, hoping central Ohioans will take part in Small Business Saturday.
It’s been a hard year for many small businesses in the Short North, but on Saturday, they get a small glimpse of hope as holiday shoppers walk through their doors.
Jim and Christa Channels were born in and remain residents of Columbus. They said they hold a special place for businesses in the Columbus neighborhood for many reasons.
One of those reasons is location, and another is for the clothes, books, and food they find in those shops and restaurants.
“No two are alike and we really like to see them succeed,” said Christa Channels.
In the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of businesses have been hit hard by restrictions, with some struggling just to make ends meet, while others have had to close for good.
“I think we’ve lost six businesses here in the Short North already,” said Jason Williams, owner of Big Fun. “I’m afraid some restaurants here might not make it.”
Williams added it’s not easy in general to run a small business, but when considering big box stores over local shops like Homage, TigerTree, or Torso, he asks that shoppers think about their city and the big impact shopping small makes.
“All of us here, me and my workers, spend our money on local restaurants,” he said. “We go to local dentists, local shops. We bring in money to our local neighborhood. That helps strengthen the eco-system that we’re in.”
Shoppers Albert Retledge and Amy Cooper said retails like Amazon are a tempting option, and seeing the limited hours of operation is odd and a bit sad, but just because the sign may list limited hours doesn’t mean in-store shopping is the only option.
“We noticed the online shopping for, like, TigerTree, so we’ll probably order some things from there,” Retledge said.
Many small businesses hope these next few weeks will help bring in some of the revenue they’ve lost since March due to the pandemic.
“We’re what helps to make cities unique,” Williams said. “You can find Bob Evans everywhere. You can find Walmarts everywhere, but you can’t find Global Gifts or any of these other places. They are unique to this area.”
Many of the small businesses throughout Columbus are hopeful they’ll see shoppers every day and not just on Small Business Saturday.