TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WAFF) - COVID-19 is pushing more shoppers online this year.
That’s forcing small, local businesses to get creative to attract shoppers.
Small businesses are working hard to make sure that shopping in-person is safe, and to provide other options for folks who don’t feel so comfortable in stores.
“The goal is not to just do business as usual but to do business as usual with a lot of safety precautions in place,” Ashley Morrow said.
Ashley Morrow owns “The Shoppes on Coldwater” in Tuscumbia and she’s getting ready to keep her customers safe come Black Friday.
“For us to keep our customers safe, for us to keep our staff safe we are limiting it to 10 shoppers at a time. We have people who are going to be outside working the crowd to make sure if two people come out then two people come in,” Morrow said.
She says though COVID-19 has put a damper on local businesses and revenue, her number one concern is the aftermath of Black Friday.
“Our customer base wants to shop local and wants to shop in stores. I am very lucky that we have that customer base. I’m more concerned about whether or not Black Friday is going to be the super-spreader event that a lot of are concerned about,” Morrow said.
Shoals Chamber of Commerce President Caitlin Holland says many local businesses are also going online to stay competitive.
“They’ve taken big strides in making themselves more friendly to online shoppers. Many of them have set up new websites or made their websites more user friendly and there is also shoalsshopper.com that was put in place by the chamber and the shoals EDA that makes it even easier for people to locate local stores and their online presence,” Holland said.
From curbside pickup, to shopping online, Morrow says this is the time to support local businesses now more than ever.
“This is the time for us and our families to say we see you. We recognize you and we want to reinvest in you as well,” Morrow said.
If you do go out to shop this weekend, remember that the mask mandate is still in place so make sure to bring yours!