Shoppers support local stores on Small Business Saturday

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SAN DIEGO — Business was booming for small local shops around San Diego in support for Small Business Saturday as many residents went to shop for unique gifts this holiday season.

The shopping day, after Black Friday, is meant to support small businesses that might not see the amount of shoppers the big retail stores do the day after Thanksgiving.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria says he knows the cities small businesses were greatly affected during lockdowns and advises San Diegans not only to support during the holiday season, but throughout the year.

“This isn’t just candles, it’s not just greeting cards,” Gloria said. “There is a ton of stuff here that I think will certainly serve you well as you do your holiday shopping.”

Elexia De La Parra, owner of Artelexia, says shopping local means supporting individual artists.

“Everything has a story behind it,” De La Parra said. “It’s not just these items that are mass-produced, especially like the artesenia that we bring from Mexico. There is generations of craft being passed down with these items.”

Artelexia had to adjust during the pandemic, which caused the business to cut staff, close for several months and transition to online sales.

In Mission Hills, Tami Ratliffe, owner of Lewis Fay, says she is happy the community supports her business on a daily. Ratliffe opened her store three months before the pandemic and stresses the importance on shopping local.

“I think people forget how easy it is to order online and what that does to a small shop and all these small stores, because we all expect the stores to be there when we need them,” Ratliffe said.

The mayor says the City of San Diego approved more financial assistance for small business owners.

“Over 1,000 businesses in San Diego receiving grants of $5,000,” Gloria said. “We know that is not going to make up for everything that has happened over the last 2 years, but we know that it keeps a number of folks afloat as we work to get the economy back on track and put San Diegans back to work.”

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