Charleston business owners team up, say holiday season ‘crucial’ to recovery

VIDEO: Charleston small businesses look to holiday rebound

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Following a tough year for business owners in Charleston, local shops on King Street are coming together to put small businesses on the forefront of the holiday season.

“It’s crucial, that’s when you do your biggest sales,” Rhett Outten, owner Croghan’s Jewel Box, said. “And so many people have been hurting and so many people have been closed, it’s just important to get the word out that local matters more now than ever.”

Outten along with a dozen other local business owners, has created a website and social media push for the Middle King Street Shopping District, known as MiKi, to educate more people on the locally owned businesses that need support this holiday season.

“So partnering all together and making a push that we are together stronger, we felt like that was the way to go,” Outten said.

Stacy Smallwood who owns Hampden Boutique said it’s an opportunity to help companies that may need a boost online but don’t have the resources to market like large stores.

“It really is about all of us being together and supporting each other and we’re not competition we love the fabric of what has made Charleston unique in that is the small businesses,” Smallwood said.

Smallwood said the tourism loss alone during the pandemic has hit King Street especially hard, but it’s the local customers during winter months that will make or break small businesses.

“If you really think about so if you really think about saving the fabric of your community and especially Charleston, King Street is all about our lowcountry local businesses and that’s what makes it different,” Smallwood said.

Although not a part of MiKi, Chelsea Carol, owner of Beckett Boutique, said she has been adapting to the pandemic by increasing her online presence. She said while there is still much to recover this year, she is very encouraged by the start of the holiday shopping season.

“Our store is rebounding and we are seeing a traffic and things coming back safely, we are pretty safe here but our online has really taken off,” Carol said. “I think our online has grown by 60 percent since last year which is huge.”

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