Sat. Jul 31st, 2021


The Central West End business district offered incentives for people to eat and shop in the area

ST. LOUIS — Since 1969, book worms have shopped at Left Bank Books in the Central West End. But COVID-19 changed its old concept and made the book store turn a new page.

Co-owner Kris Kleindienst said to stay alive, she had to think outside of the box.

And on Small Business Saturday, the creativity continued to flow.

Kleindienst said the store added appointments for guests to wander inside. All of the time slots were booked on Saturday.

Central West End even offered incentives. Customers who dined in or ordered takeout received a gift card for spending a certain amount.

The streets were even taken over by performers as they entertained shoppers.

“I’m so appreciative of what the Central West End is doing as a neighborhood to support its businesses,” Kleindienst said.


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This year’s Small Business Saturday, an annual shopping holiday meant to support independent and local businesses, comes at a critical time for merchants across the nation. They are nine months into the coronavirus pandemic that has buckled commerce, and now they are staring down a bleak winter bereft of federal relief. More than 160,000 small businesses have closed permanently in the United States since March 1, according to a report released by Yelp, with closures increasing by 23 percent since mid-July.

But where desperation festers, artistry and enterprise can thrive. Tameesha Tucker lost her father in February to a lung disease that she believes grew from an undiagnosed case of covid-19. She started an apothecary business after his death to help other people build their immune systems to better fend off infections.

“It’s an expensive business, but this is something that the community needs right now,” she said Saturday, rotating

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Online shopping

Online shopping (Photo: Tawattiw)

Whether in person or online, local businesses are working to meet customer needs the best way they can.

For some, that’s an ecommerce site. Others are interacting with customers and answering questions more on social media, and a handful are adopting a hybrid approach.

Monroe Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Sue Nicholson said a lot of businesses weren’t equipped to shift online after COVID-19 restrictions limited shopping.

She said several focused on boosting social media following and encouraging curbside pickup.

They plan to boost member’s online ads and promotions via their social media channels on Cyber Monday. It’s important, Nicholson said, to remind people they can get great deals locally and pick it up that day.

Walsworth & Co. in West Monroe worked to boost engagement on Facebook and Instagram, said Jordyn Raybourn social media manager for the store.

They post specific gift and

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When Shawnee County issued a stay-at-home order this past spring, the Red Door Home Store in Topeka lost its main source of revenue: in-person traffic.

During the downtime brought on by the pandemic, owner Jesse Borjon realized he needed to start selling his products online.

“We had plenty of time on our hands … we looked at it as an opportunity to really beef up our business,” Borjon said.

What started as a decision to keep his business active during the shutdown has now put Borjon, and Red Door Home Store, in a better place to sell to customers during Cyber Monday and the upcoming shopping season.

An April 2020 Statista report found that Cyber Monday was the largest online-shopping holiday in the U.S., bringing in $9.4 billion in 2019. This year’s Cyber Monday comes as the U.S. Department of Commerce found e-commerce sales are increasing from last year.


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REISTERSTOWN, MD — Small businesses have been the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, making Small Business Saturday in 2020 more vital than ever. This year, the all-local shopping event falls on Nov. 28 including in Owings Mills and Reisterstown.

Independently owned boutiques, gift shops, mom-and-pop hardware stores, restaurants and the like in Owings Mills and Reisterstown are facing unprecedented challenges due to coronavirus-related restrictions and shutdowns.

Reisterstown Main Street will have crafts tables set up along Main Street to Saturday afternoon to celebrate small businesses.

Temporary closures, capacity restrictions, decreased demand for products and services and delays due to supply-chain issues have led to unprecedented challenges for small-business owners.

But the “Shop Small” movement continues amid these hardships.

“This holiday season looks a little different, but we can still share joy,” American Express, which established Small Business Saturday in 2010, said in a statement. “Shop small and support your

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Dana Sparks
| Register-Guard

Looking to score Black Friday deals? These apps can help.

While Black Friday may look a little different this month, these services help find deep discounts at retail stores and online.

Businesses big and small have fortified their online presence to adapt to the 2020 pandemic, opening up new opportunities to keep holiday dollars local. 

Cyber Monday follows Thanksgiving and Black Friday, clamoring to the top as the biggest online shopping day of the year on an international scale. But big industry names like Amazon are not the only retailers that observe digital deals on this day, which falls on Nov. 30 this year. 

“The pandemic this year wreaked havoc on our hospitality and retail industry. While we’re always encouraging folks to shop local, this year, more than ever, the power of your dollar is really going to be able to be seen here in our

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Small businesses accounted for a whopping 99.9% of companies in the U.S. in 2019, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The number can be partly attributed to the administration’s broad definition of a small business as any firm with fewer than 500 employees, but it also reflects how embedded entrepreneurship is in American culture. We watch in awe as once-small startups, like Twitter and Slack, transition into hugely successful ventures that are part of our everyday lives. We binge-watch old episodes of “Shark Tank,” eager for inspiration for the next great business idea. And many of us dream of starting our own companies by dipping our toes into entrepreneurship with side hustles.

Business ownership has always required grit, hard work, and old-fashioned luck to find success. But running a business during the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown all the usual rules to the sidelines, as restaurants and bars facilitate

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The U.S Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released a new ruling November 18 which will affect millions of small businesses that received a portion of the total $717 billion in relief funds from the US Small Business Administration (SBA) through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) beginning in April 2020.

A man looks at signs of a closed store due to COVID-19 in Niles, Illinois [Credit: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh]

Revenue Ruling 2020-27 and Revenue Procedure 2020-51 clarify “the tax treatment of expenses where a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan has not been forgiven by the end of the year the loan was received,” according to the US Treasury Department website.

The latest ruling outlines a number of restrictions that small businesses owners will face if they attempt to deduct business expenses from their annual tax returns if those expenses were paid for with money from a PPP

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It’s the 11th annual Small Business Saturday, which serves as the kickoff to the holiday season for independent retailers and restaurateurs.


LAS CRUCES — For holiday shoppers, this year is certain to be unlike any other, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Stay-at-home orders and the closure of nonessential businesses to mitigate the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus could dampen Small Business Saturday, which takes place annually on the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

However, several organizations across Doña Ana County and New Mexico are teaming up to help ensure that Small Business Saturday is as successful as it can possibly be for struggling local businesses during these unprecedented times.

Working collaboratively, the city of Las Cruces Economic Development Department, the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, WESST, the Small Business Development Center, the Arrowhead Center and the LiftFund have launched a

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Black Owned Maine has not only focused attention on a group working to stimulate the state’s economy, but has raised money to help businesses and families make their way through the pandemic.

By Jordan Bailey
 |  The Maine Monitor

During the height of the protests over the police killing of George Floyd in May, Rose Barboza felt conflicted. She wanted to join the demonstrations but had a 4-year-old at her Saco home and was concerned about catching or spreading the coronavirus. Instead, Barboza began to consider another way to fight — using her purchasing power. 

Online directories popped up nationally, spotlighting Black-owned businesses and educating people about how seeking out these businesses can help, at the local level, reduce the racial wealth gap, support entrepreneurship and job creation for Black Americans, and send a message that representation matters. 

But, companies in Maine remained largely off the lists. Maine is the

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