TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — With Christmas now a month away, the holiday shopping season is in full swing. Now more than ever, it's important to shop small because of the pandemic.
Socially-distanced shoppers across North Florida and South Georgia flocked to shops hoping to get a head-start on the holiday shopping season.
With the COVID-19 pandemic weighing heavy on businesses this year, Crisitina Paredes with the Tallahassee Office of Economic Vitality says it's extra important to shop locally this year.
"For every dollar you spend here at a local store, 67 cents goes back into our local economy, and that really adds up over time." Said Paredes. "It helps our small business owners."
Money going back to businesses like The Midtown reader in Tallahassee.
"It's really important for Tallahassee-ians to support small businesses and keep jobs here." Said Paredes.
During the peak of COVID-19, businesses like Sally Bradshaw's had to switch to different tactics to keep her business going.
"We really leaned into online sales, to delivery, to curbside pickup and we continue to offer those options." Said Bradshaw
Those options, being what has kept The Bookshelf in Thomasville afloat this year.
"We have really loyal local customers who have supported us for years but we also rely on people coming up from Tallahassee, or over from Albany or Valdosta, and then what has supported us this year has been long distance customers from all over the country that have either visited Thomasville in before and want to support the town." Said Annie Jones, owner of The Bookshelf.
Mara Lamb came out to Thomasville with her family to shop locally.
"We are from out of town and we are here to support local business and we wanted to check out this adorable little town and just support the small family owned businesses in Thomasville." Said Lamb.
The Office of Economic Vitality says even though Small Business Saturday is one of the biggest holiday shopping days for small businesses, they encourage everyone to keep shopping local for the rest of the season.