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Area small business get creative during holiday season as COVID-19 pandemic continues impact

Many are providing online stores and different pickup options so people who aren't comfortable shopping in person, can still visit their favorite spots.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — One of the biggest shopping weekends of the year has been marred by the coronavirus pandemic.

As shoppers take advantage of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday deals, many are still uncomfortable leaving their homes to shop.

While big box retailers are accessible online, some of Kentuckiana’s favorite boutiques and shops are usually harder to visit without physically being there in person.

Stores like Butchertown Market and Six Sisters Boutique now have extensive websites that offer all of their in-store merchandise online. 

Owner Jack Mathias said they realized back in March they needed to increase their website presence. That was after they were making a lot of sales on social media.

“What we’re trying to do is like thing outside the box, come up with different ways to generate interest," Mathias said. “We want to be able to give people access to the store in the comfort of their own home, being safe, some people feel okay coming out in public, some people don’t.”

Mathias and his team are even willing to chat on the phone and personal shop with customers.

"Whatever we need to do we’ll do. Because we want to keep our small local business alive," Mathias said.

The small business launched their website just in time for the holiday while Six Sisters had their site up and running for quite some time. Assistant Manager Sarah Freeman said it’s a huge help as they approach one of their busiest seasons of the year.

“I think holiday shopping is going to look a little bit different for everybody this year. Typically were used to seeing big crowds and a ton of people out and about on those really hot shopping days and I definitely think there will be people that will be a little bit more cautious and aware of that and will maybe want to shop from home and not have to go into a store," Freeman said.

Aside from their online boutique, Six Sisters also offers delivery within a five mile radius of the store in NuLu, and curbside pick up.

"I think having those options available where people can shop from home or even some of the pick up options that we have, just different ways for everybody to stay safe, I think it's going to be really important," Freeman said.

Both of these stores are just two examples of how buying local during the holidays can be a gift in itself. They need the business to stay afloat. After this pandemic has wiped out many businesses, they still want to be standing when it's all said and done.

“Local businesses are the back bone of the community," Mathias said. “Christmas is a time where the retail stores really make their money and are able to sustain for the rest of the year.”

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