MILWAUKEE — Small business owners in Milwaukee say supporting local stores on Black Friday is more critical than ever this year.
Juliette Lyday went to the Sherman Phoenix in Milwaukee on purpose this Black Friday.
"With everything that's going on, I want to make sure that the small businesses here in Milwaukee, that they strive," Lyday said.
She and several others are shopping at the Underground Makers Market where four small business owners sell their original, often hand-made products in the same space.
"I was really worried that we wouldn't have a lot of people in on Friday because of everyone not shopping and everyone shopping online," Pam McCreary, owner of At Peace Design.
"We opened June 30, so we opened during the pandemic and so people coming and intentionally spending their time and spending their money here it's priceless because there are so many options," said Jamila Riley, owner of J. Riley, which sells crochet and clothing items.
For some owners, it's about rebounding from the financial hit they took in Spring.
"I think the next two months are more than critical. I think it's time for folks to kind of recoup all of what they lost as far as sales the last few months," said Lilo Allen, Co-owner of Bronzeville Collective in Milwaukee on North Avenue.
"We have about thirty black, brown, and queer artists' local businesses represented in the space and we emphasize handmade and original designed gifts," said Allen.
On Black Friday, Bronzeville Collective is open for two extra hours. They hope shoppers will take advantage.
"Your dollar goes so much further with a local business than it does at a big corporation. We feel the financial impact of that immediately," she said.
Sherman Phoenix and Bronzeville Collective offer curbside pick-up if customers feel more comfortable shopping that way.