DES MOINES — While many Iowa retailers are already offering holiday-themed bargains, the Black Friday shopping blitz is just under two weeks away, followed immediately by Small Business Saturday.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Iowa District Office director Jayne Armstrong says 97% of Iowa’s businesses are small businesses and it’s vital for our economic livelihood to support them all year, not just on November 26th. “It’s always important because it really is a significant sales period for a lot of small businesses, particularly our retailers, as we go into the holiday season,” Armstrong says, “but we still have a lot of small businesses that are struggling.”
The worst of the pandemic may be behind us, but it left significant scars for some merchants which continue to need the routine patronage of Iowa consumers. Armstrong says COVID taught many of us a lesson about how much we rely on the neighborhood mom-and-pop businesses. “I really do think that America woke up,” Armstrong says. “When something’s not there that you’re used to and that a lot of people tend to take for granted, and then when we were shut down or businesses were struggling coming back, I think people kind of woke up to just how local all this is.”
She notes, there’s an obvious advantage for consumers to “Be Loyal, Buy Local,” instead of shopping online, since 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.