State urges shoppers to keep dollars local this holiday season

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DENVER (KDVR) — The State of Colorado is encouraging people to shop local this holiday weekend.

Like most other aspects of life, the pandemic is changing the way the way Black Friday and Small Business Saturday look this year.

FOX31 spoke with small businesses in Denver to see how they are faring.

Shoppers came out in handfuls to Larimer Square Friday, helping local businesses achieve some normalcy in a year that’s dealt a blow to small retailers.

“If they’re telling people to shop local, thank you so much,” said Larry Nix, manager at the Denver location of the family-owned Goorin Bros. Hat Shops. He said his store has been able to stay afloat thanks to strong support from the local shoppers.

“The only reason I’m still open is because my community wouldn’t let me close during the pandemic. It’s one of, unfortunately, the only success stories during the pandemic. My community came together and was like, ‘Nope, we’re buying hats. We want one of each,” Nix said.

The state is encouraging more shoppers to buy locally this year, estimating that 70 percent of the money will stay in state when shoppers do so.

Joshua Schmitz, who changed his patio space into a Christmas tree lot to make some revenue, said it’s a nice gesture from the state but the support from shoppers is what he really needs. 

“As you are doing your holiday shopping, please avoid Amazon. Come down and support local business. We’re struggling more than you can ever imagine. It’s not just the business owners; it’s our employees as well,” he said.

No matter how the infection rate looks in the coming weeks, you can always support local businesses who have a presence online.

The states says small businesses make up 99 percent of retailers in Colorado.

If you have a small business that needs help during the pandemic, leaders urge you to get in touch with the Small Business Development Center Network.

State lawmakers are returning next week to pass a relief measure and get aid to struggling businesses.

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