MEMPHIS, Tenn. — COVID-19 has taken an enormous toll, killing over 1.1 million people around the world. It has also been devastating to the economy forcing many businesses to hang on by a thread.
Small businesses across Memphis, that were forced to close under health regulations, are hoping the upcoming holiday season will bring a needed boost in revenue. The owner of Falling Into Place, Mary Claire White, said she knows the struggle of keeping a business alive during a pandemic and the importance of shoppers supporting local stores.
"It means for a lot of businesses survival and closing the doors forever," White said.
Unique businesses like hers and others on Broad Avenue in Binghampton are relying on customers to continue shopping at their stores for special holiday gifts.
"There’s a lot of us and we’re here and we have really great things to offer," White said. "People that get gifts from places like this are always thrilled."
She prides herself on her store featuring one-of-a-kind jewelry, paintings, and candles from artists in the Mid-South. So, she's hoping this season of giving will be the needed boost for small businesses.
"Not only is the item special and meaningful, but the idea behind it that it came from somewhere local and that it benefits the local economy," White said.
Shoppers, like Kendall Visinsky, know why these businesses serve a crucial role in our neighborhoods.
"These stores are obviously the lifeblood of the town and I couldn’t walk into a big box store and pick out something that was made in Memphis and represents Memphis," Visinsky said.
The Greater Memphis Chamber is also stressing the importance of spending your money in Memphis. Chamber president and CEO Beverly Robertson said they launched a campaign called Move Your Money to Memphis to promote small businesses to also boost the local economy.
“We launched the Move Your Money to Memphis campaign last year because we know that spending locally is critical to the success of our economy and growing local businesses is a key part of our economic development strategy," Robertson said. "When COVID hit, we saw in real-time how important it is to support local businesses."
It also showcases local businesses through their Open 901 Directory to list businesses open during the pandemic.