Local small businesses ‘keep plugging along’ during pandemic

National Small Business Week
Shopping local.
Shopping local.(KOTA)
Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 5:51 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The pandemic has impacted many small businesses, and at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Rapid City, the owner says sales are down about 20%.

“We will just keep plugging along, and we’re hoping that we can limp through the fall and get to the Christmas season. And hopefully, we will have customers coming and asking for Christmas gifts and baskets and all that kind of stuff to keep us through the Christmas season,” says the owner of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Kendra Larson.

And throughout the pandemic, many business owners had to think outside the box to develop new ideas.

“We have done private appointments before or after regular business hours that’s been very popular. We’ve also done a lot of FaceTime appointments,” says the owner of Who’s Toys House, Somer Kingsbury.

When people buy from small businesses, it doesn’t only mean more money stays in the community, but it also leads to strong relationships over the years.

“If they spend with us, we get to then, in turn, turn around and support the community. Be it through the little league games, sponsoring the BMX bicycles, or even throwing commercials on local tv shows. That’s how we support,” says the owner of Alternative Fuel Coffee House, Patti Griffin.

And some say supporting local businesses now is more important than ever.

“If you don’t shop local, those places aren’t available. And it gets so that we’re really limited and we need to keep our money in town so that we can keep supporting these places,” says Larson.

“This is a time where it can make or break a lot of small businesses. And where it might only be a couple of months of isolation for individuals, a couple of months without sales is going to mean those businesses are going to go under,” says Kingsbury.

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