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‘Make it or break it’ time comes for many small businesses during holiday season

Small San Antonio stores face uncertainty during COVID pandemic

SAN ANTONIO – During the COVID-19 pandemic small businesses across the country face a lot of uncertainty and many local shops rely heavily on the holiday season for a big portion of their yearly profit.

As COVID numbers spike again, area stores are having to adjust and adapt.

Maria Vega and her two sons Uriel and Anthony Diaz are the owners of Karolina’s Antiques.

“We definitely have been figuring out new ways to survive,” Uriel Diaz said.

The store had to shut their doors during the pandemic, but they have been able to stay in business and make sales thanks to an online presence and their unique inventory.

“We like to mix our culture with regular pop, you know, popular culture going on in the world,” Diaz said.

“I think that is the key for our business to be successful, because we kind of like a challenge and everything and they have that new stuff, so people have responded really good,” Maria Vega said.

Like so many small businesses around the country, Karolina’s has an easy to use online store, selling everything from facemasks to bags to jewelry, but they are also thinking outside the box.

“We were already known for doing like sort of a weekly video, showing people what we brought in. And it was called ‘That’s the Tea Tuesday’ and it was showing everybody the things that we got every Tuesday. So we kind of just utilized that and utilized the product that we had had coming in,” Diaz said.

They say their strong following online and loyal customers have kept them up and running, but this time of year is crucial.

“Christmas is really a make it or break kind of time for a lot of small businesses. You can either do very well or your doors can shut,” Diaz said.

And they are adjusting accordingly.

“We kind of just geared up everyone to know that we were going to be opening Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., so they know that they can come shop with us here if they wanted to or if they wanted to catch us on our live sales during the week,” Diaz said.

If you are out and about this holiday season and still shopping, they have a message for you.

“Wear your mask, please wear a mask, stay safe, be respectful of the people working retail. These are the people that are trying to help you make your Christmas magical, even though there’s a pandemic going on,” Diaz said.

If you’re interested in checking out the store, you can click here.


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