While many Iowans will keep up the tradition of Black Friday shopping today, it’s predicted even more bargain hunters will be out in force tomorrow for Small Business Saturday.
Jayne Armstrong, director of the U.S. Small Business Administration‘s Iowa District Office, says when you find and buy an item at a brick-and-mortar store, there’s no worry about it being delayed or lost during the shipping process.
“It’s a great reason to get out and buy from our local businesses, from artisans,” Armstrong says. “There are so many small businesses that need the help and could really use a shot in the arm after everything they’ve been through the last two years.”
An economist predicts year-end holiday sales in Iowa will be up ten-percent compared to last year, and it’s easy to believe as so many people were still staying home in 2020 due to the pandemic. Armstrong says COVID-19 may still be keeping some Iowa shoppers from in-person buying, but far fewer than a year ago.
“A lot of small businesses, too, during the pandemic made a shift and they pivoted to look at other revenue streams and they put a lot of products online,” Armstrong says, “so if somebody is uncomfortable with that, they can still support their local small business community by looking online.”
Sales during the final weeks of the year may often mean the difference between turning a profit and ending the year in red ink, so Armstrong urges Iowans to “Be Loyal, Buy Local.”
“One thing for people to think about for the holiday season is not just buying products, but buying gift certificates and supporting local restaurants and nonprofits,” Armstrong says. “Everybody was hit hard during the pandemic and it’s going to take all of us coming together to get them through this final stretch of the recovery.”
While the pandemic spelled the end for some Iowa businesses, she says it’s been welcome news to see so many new small business start-ups in Iowa succeed in 2021. Armstrong says 97% of the businesses in Iowa are small businesses.