Western Pa. small businesses hoping for large turnout this holiday shopping season

PITTSBURGH, PA — For small businesses, the holiday shopping season is their bread and butter and in many cases, profits help put food on their tables.

With nearly two tough years of COVID-19 closures and restrictions, there’s an even bigger push to shop local this year and support local businesses.

Victoria Piekut is the owner of Wight Elephant, with boutiques in Irwin and Greensburg. “This is our livelihood,” Piekut tells Channel 11. “I feel like small businesses are what make our community so unique and so special.”

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On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s tough for locally-owned businesses to compete with big-box stores, especially online. But Piekut is getting creative with rolling sales that change each hour and live sales from her free app, so you can stay on your couch.

“We’re able to go live kind of live QVC,” Piekut adds. “We show a product, we scan it into the system and people are able to comment and ask questions. We’re able to answer in real-time.”

Piekut says small businesses are what make our communities unique and special. It’s something she wants to keep intact to make our communities even brighter.

At Love Pittsburgh, purchases support over 100 different local artists and artisans.

“It really just puts money in the local economy,” co-owner Monica Yope tells Channel 11. “The money you’re spending is directly supporting your community, your neighbors. You’re making a difference for people. Even the smallest orders — they all add up.”

If your budget is tight this year, supporting local doesn’t have to mean spending. Spreading the word and sharing social media sites can sometimes mean even more.

“Those interactions including liking a post or sharing with a friend — that really helps spread the word and that honestly can lead to many more sales for a small business,” Piekut adds.