SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio businesses have had to make adjustments to keep their doors open amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the changes led to a new experience on Small Business Saturday.
Robert Clutter is a clerk at Schnabel’s Hardware, off of McCullough Avenue. He said the annual shopping tradition is a boost for mom and pop shops.
“Shop local today. Today is the day to do it and shop small,” he said.
Clutter said the shop is a fixture in the neighborhood and the doors have been open for over 80 years.
“I know everybody that comes in. You know, these have been people that have been coming in for decades,” said Clutter.
However, 2020 was the year tradition changed. Clutter said employees sterilize sections regularly and work fast to get customers in and out of the store.
Curbside pickup has also become a normal use for customers.
Clutter said this year’s Small Business Saturday is unlike any he has seen before, but the shop has adjusted to the times.
“I think that given all the challenges, that we meet them and surpass them,” he said.
Ginger Diaz and her husband own Feliz Modern and call the shop “a gateway to local art.” The couple owns two locations, one at the Pearl and the other off West Olmos.
She calls Small Business Saturday the biggest day of the year. However, COVID-10 led to unexpected changes.
“We have a huge sale with other local makers, but this year we weren’t able to do that,” she said.
During any ordinary year, customers would shop in-person, Diaz said. According to the business owner, this year, 50% of the sales are online.
“I think a lot of people really like the convenience of shopping at home. They could compare and look at different things and build their cart,” she said.
Diaz said going digital saved her business. She said local support is everything for small businesses like hers.
“When you want to talk about building your local community, putting your money where your mouth is makes a lot of sense,” Diaz said.