Small businesses rely on support from customers

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA)– “Shopping locally any day of the year is important,” said Van Boyd with Heel to Toe Shoe Store. This year as businesses fight to bounce back from the impact of the pandemic, they say customer support is crucial. The owner of Bohemia says this year business has been up and down. “Not as many people are shopping,” said Milea Hayes, owner of Bohemia.

Employees at Heel To Toe Shoe Store says sales went down when they had to close their store due to COVID-19 regulations. “When the stores opened back up again, things improved really nicely. The only thing that really hurt is not being able to run the big sales and promotions we normally do because we didn’t want to invite more people into the store,” said Boyd. However, they’re still not doing great. “We still owe vendors money. We’re still paying off the last building we did here, and a lot of our expenses are pretty well fixed. If business is off 10,20,30 percent in a given month, that’s not good,” said Boyd.

That’s why they say Small Business Saturday is so imporant. They want customers to buy and stay safe. “When we see a lot of people coming out for the day, it just makes a big difference to know people are still thinking about us,” said Hayes. “If people continue to support us, keep us going through this situation, we’ll come back bigger, better, and stronger than ever,” said Boyd.

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