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Boise shops ask for community support on Small Business Saturday

"When you are able to come in a pick up the item that the artists have made, you can feel their story, you can feel their love for what they have done."

BOISE, Idaho — For Small Business Saturday, many Boise businesses are urging Idahoans to get out and shop local, saying community support is needed this year more than ever before.

Local businesses typically look forward to increased sales during the holiday months, but after many had to close down at the beginning of the pandemic, this year they're banking more than ever on those sales.

Michael Bunnell has been the Owner of the Record Exchange in Boise for 43 years, and said even after his shop was cleared to reopen, he and his team spent weeks developing a plan on how to reopen safely.

“When you spend money at independent businesses that money stays in the community, it employs people in the community, it pays taxes in the community. I mean, it’s the way to truly support where you live,” said Bunnell.

He said supporting local businesses now is more important than ever before because things aren’t headed in the right direction.

“People are not paying enough attention and they’re not being strict enough, and they’re going to the family's for Thanksgiving, and all of that frightens me because if this gets worse, I could see us having to close,” he said.

Molly Seaman is one of the owners of Idaho Made, a shop which sells products from over 60 local artists. Since the pandemic hit, sales have dropped to half of what the shop typically brings in.

“It’s been hard, it’s been hard on our numbers, it’s been hard on our artists, we are just hoping everyone will mask up and we can get things kind of back to normal,” said Seaman.

Seaman said Small Business Saturday is typically the shop's busiest day of the year. This year, only ten people will be allowed in the store at once and masks are required. She too hopes that Idahoans choose to safely shop local on Saturday instead of supporting big boxes.

“I’m a mom of three with a busy schedule so I know how easy it is to hit add to cart and pay but when you are able to come in a pick up the item that the artists have made, you can feel their story, you can feel their love for what they have done,” she said.

For a full list of local businesses click here.