GIG HARBOR, Wash. - Nine months into a pandemic, an open sign on any business is a testament to everything they have overcome.
“We are struggling and this has been a really tough year,” Java & Clay Café owner Kelly Blue said.
Thousands of families in the Gig Harbor area already have mugs and ornaments in their homes from Blue’s pottery store. Due to restrictions, customers can’t create pottery items inside the store but you can still get a kit to make at home and bring it back.
“We fire them 18 hundred degrees and get them back a week later,” Blue said.
‘Small Business Saturday’ or the act of shopping local isn’t just a big deal it’s a lifeline now for many shops.
“We are navigating these tough times,” Stephanie Sagle said.
Sagle, the owner of the Harbor General store misses the intimacy of a packed room.
“We just miss seeing people’s smiles you know that does fuel us,” Sagle said.
Although they can’t see the faces of the customers as much, the appreciation is there.
“These businesses support fundraisers in our communities, they support our schools all the time, I am a teacher, that’s important and meaningful to me,” shopper Lauren Jarvis said.
Jarvis says she plans on shopping in her neighborhood stores as much as possible this holiday season.
“Is there a comparable thing that I can do to support our local business,” Jarvis said.
The Harbor General store used to see up to 300 shoppers a day. Saturday’s count is way lower but they’ve made it this far.
“Our town is very supportive we are just blessed to be here and still open,” Sagle said.