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Lowcountry shops look to Small Business Saturday for a boost during pandemic

Updated: Nov. 27, 2020 at 3:11 PM EST
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SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Many Lowcountry shops are looking to Small Business Saturday as they work to stay afloat during the pandemic.

The day, which always falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is dedicated to supporting small businesses in communities across the country. In South Carolina, small business accounts for more than 99-percent of all private employers, the state’s Department of Commerce found.

Hanebrink Jewelers across from Hutchinson Square in downtown Summerville is one of those businesses, and Sales Director Christine Ferrell said after seeing an initial drop in sales, business is starting to pick back up.

“We’re definitely on the upswing, and we’re really grateful for that,” Ferrell said. “There has been a lull mainly in the past in the spring.”

Ferrell said small businesses are crucial for the community, and it takes them working together to stay afloat.

“If you like a historic, unique area, it takes small businesses to keep it running,” she said. “Without the community pulling together to help each other, there would be no charming downtown at all.”

In Goose Creek, Donut Connection, a small donut shop that sits in a strip mall off of St. James Ave. near Highway 52, had to cut back on staff and days it was open because of the pandemic. Co-owner Joanna Scism said, “It’s been heartbreaking.”

“This is sweat, tears, and love,” Scism said. “If your heart isn’t in it when you go to put that dough on the table, you can feel it. That’s why there’s only one man who makes the donuts here.”

The store pulled back to operating five days a week instead of the seven it once did, but she said she’s grateful they’re able to keep the doors open.

In Summerville, the town is hosting a special Holiday Farmers Market in support of their small businesses. It will be on Nov. 28 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 200 S. Main Street.

There will be a number of vendors selling fresh food, art, and crafts. Social distancing and wearing masks are encouraged.

Across the country, Yelp’s September Economic Impact Report found almost 100,000 businesses have closed their doors permanently because of the pandemic.

To view small business in your area click here.

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