Local businesses thankful for those who support them during holiday season

The year 2020 has been out of the ordinary, and stores are noticing it too during the holiday shopping season. Experts say more Americans are expected to spend less this year because of the pandemic.

We spoke to businesses in Southwest Florida Wednesday about whether they’re making ends meet.

Some people we spoke to are buying less, but many said what they are spending is being spent locally.

“I’m definitely going to be shopping local and reevaluating who I spend, who I invest my money into,” Tina Garry said.

Most of what Garry is buying are from small local shops, and she plans to continue this trend in the future.

“Better habits are being established because I’m changing my perspective and my mind set and how I normally would have shopped,” Garry said.

Businesses appreciate people like Garry who are considering the challenges of making ends meet during the pandemic.

“It’s been a tough year. I mean, it’s been tough getting through,” said Steven Bradford Turner, the co-owner of Snouts and Strokes in Fort Myers.

This is a time when businesses would normally be packed, but because of the pandemic, things have changed.

“My business did decrease a little bit, but just because of my following, I’ve been doing ok,” said Ollie Gentry, who owns Ollie Mack Gentry Photography Studio.

Gentry says he’s worked with other local businesses to promote each other, and that’s helped him survive during the pandemic.

“You know, small mom and pop stores, I think it’s important to support them,” Judy Goldstein said. “I don’t want to see them shut down at all.”

That’s a mindset many business owners are thankful for.

“I just say thank you, you know, for helping us down here,” Turner said. “We’ll try to help you up there, or wherever you’re at.”

Reporter:Justin Kase
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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