For Vicki Besler, losing annual events like prom and in-person college graduations due to the coronavirus was hard.
As the owner of Shaw and Boehler Florist in Cortland, those are some of the largest events and busiest days for her business.
“It was hard, but our customers have been wonderful,” she said Saturday.
Small businesses like hers around Cortland County have struggled. But thanks to local support, they have been able to stay afloat following their re-openings this summer.
That local support was on display Saturday during Small Business Saturday as customers purchased items from stores in and around Cortland, many of which had special sales.
At Shaw and Boehler Florist, the sale was 20% off all items except the fresh ones, which were mostly flowers, Besler said.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the store will be doing sales of 30% and 40% off as well, culminating with 50% off after Christmas.
At the Olde Homer House, everything was 20% off, owner Stephanie Fox said.
The biggest sellers were Christmas ornaments.
“It’s been really good,” Fox said.
Like other small businesses, the store was closed from March until the end of May but has since picked up with customer support.
“I couldn’t ask for a better group of town people,” Fox said. She noted the store will have special deals each weekend until the end of the year.
Colin Spencer/staff reporter
Debbie O’Donnell looks at a pair of earrings Saturday inside Cinch Art Space in Cortland.
Shoppers at small businesses as well noted the importance of staying local this season.
“I believe in supporting our small businesses,” said Susan Dellow, of Marathon. “The big one’s are going to be fine but you’ve got to have the small businesses for our economy.”
Dellow purchased a book for her granddaughter and two hot corn sacks at Cinch Art Space in Cortland.
Debbie O’Donnell, of Cortland, also stopped by Cinch to purchase some earrings for a neighbor.
“I like to support local businesses,” she said. “That’s why I came down here today.”
While the store did not have any special sales for the day, co-owner Tammie Whitson said that the local support has been helpful.
“The last thing you want to see is for Walmart and Amazon to be the last ones standing,” she said.