LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – After Black Friday comes Small Business Saturday.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving is always an important day on the calendar for mom and pop shops across Florida, but especially this year during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Tomorrow is hopefully going to be a really big day for us, last year it was the biggest day of the year,” Christine Boring told 8 On Your Side.
Boring and her sister Barbara Boulerice are lifelong Lakelanders who own and operate Bungalow Boutique and Gifts.
“Business don’t get any smaller than this, it’s just the two of us,” Boring said. “We can’t survive without local backing and people taking their time and bringing their money in here.”
The sisters say they sell a variety of products including clothing, jewelry, and beauty products to help women live their best life.
“Wonderful merchandise for women living in Lakeland,” Boring said, “suitable for our environment suitable for the type of events and things that we do.”
Boring showed 8 On Your Side holiday themed masks which are new this year.
“We’re still doing the mask thing,” she said, “I guess that’s going to be with us for a while longer.”
Over at Scout and Tag in downtown Lakeland, owner Nikki Hunt told 8 On Your Side they test products throughout the year to get ready for Small Business Saturday.
“Making sure that we’re locally curated with a lot of local artists and specialty items that are special to our community,” Hunt explained.
2020 has created unique challenges for small business owners, especially during the stay-at-home order back in April.
“But it’s also been super exciting because the community really has come along,” Hunt said. “We’ve had people that have called up and just like, can I buy gift cards and we’ll spend it later on.”
Both Hunt and Boring said they’re hopeful that local support continues through the holiday season.
“Now that we’re getting toward the end of the year, we’ve actually had a good year, believe it or not,” Boring said. “We still have those days that are super slow and then other days that have been better, but its been very up and down.”
The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce has launched a Small Business Everyday program for the holiday season. The Chamber is encouraging people who can’t or still don’t feel comfortable shopping in person to buy gift cards and order online from the city’s locally owned stores.