South Florida Business Owners Hope to Recoup Pandemic Losses During Small Business Saturday

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Small business Saturday had a whole new meaning in South Florida, as business owners hoped to recoup major losses they suffered due to the pandemic.

For business owner Natalie Pons, it meant expanding what she sold at her Coconut Grove boutique store.

"The key was figuring out how to pivot and reinvent yourself which is why we’ve had such a shift in what we offer," Pons said.

The Wardrobe and More, which Natalie owns, went from selling women's clothing to now offering kitchenware, home goods, coffee and other items. Pons says the quick thinking helped her business stay afloat online.

Saturday also marked the 75th anniversary for another small business in South Florida. Coral Gables-based Jae's Jewelry reached the milestone after a rollercoaster year.

"We’re hoping that this is just a small bump in the road," owner Jillian Hornik said. "We’ve had great years. We’ve had very challenging years in the past."

According to a Small Business Saturday Survey conducted by SurveyMonkey and CNBC, 43% of shoppers across the country plan to spend less this holiday season than they did in 2019, and only 6% plan to spend the most money on Small Business Saturday.

Roughly three in four (75%) small business owners have said that they need holiday spending to return to normal in order to stay in business in 2021, and almost half (46%) expressed the need for above average spending, according to the American Express Shop Small Impact study.

An estimated 110 million people participated in Small Business Saturday last year, and sales hit a record high with an estimated $19.6 billion in reported spending, according to American Express, which helped to create Small Business Saturday in response to the Great Recession.

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