LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - The coronavirus pandemic has impacted most small businesses. Some have closed, and some are struggling to make rent and keep the lights on. Black Friday and Small Business Saturday could make or break some remaining East Texas shops and restaurants.
“We have never opened on Black Friday, ever. But unfortunately times have forced us to open this Friday and not just that, we’re also opening for our customers as well,” said owner of Hip Hicks Boutique, Darlyne Wise.
Many local businesses are in the same boat; the pandemic has hurt them tremendously, closing their doors for about two months, and then reopening with protocols has been slow.
“I’d just done some figures earlier this morning, we are down 228 percent from what we were at this time last year, if that should tell you something,” Wise said. “It’ll make us or break, I’ll be honest. I’m not going to lie.”
Owner of Confections Miranda Dolder said the last eight months haven’t been easy for them either.
“We need to make enough money to pay our rent and electricity,” Dolder said. “It’s been dead, it’s been a struggle.”
Dolder said she’s grateful for the customers and their continued support through the last eight months when they ask for help.
“It’s hard begging all the time, you know, but it is,” Dolder said. “We have to buy butter and all these things like perishables, and we have to use them all.”
“We’ve had our boutique professionally fogged, we’ve had it COVID fogged, and so I think that makes me feel a lot better as a shopper,” Wise said.
Confections is allowing one customer in at a time.
The boutique is open Friday and Saturday. Confections and many other businesses will be participating in Small Business Saturday.