GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Small Business Saturday is helping save local businesses this holiday season. Many were forced to close for a period of time during the Covid-19 pandemic.
"Small business Saturday always helps and I wasn't sure what to expect but so far, we're pretty excited and it seems to be a lot of people out," said Lori Schlaifer owner of Boutique Lori Ann in Lafayette.
Schlaifer is celebrating her third Small Business Saturday this year. She said this year's event comes with a new sense of appreciation.
"The customers right now are really trying to support small businesses right now and we're so grateful," said Schlaifer.
Local businesses are among those hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. Owners say they're excited to use this day to build up their customer base.
"I started this during Covid, it was a Covid creation," said Jen Christopher, owner of Aves and Brit Jewelry. "I started playing with the clay and fell in love and decided this is it, this is what I want to do."
Christopher said the support from customers goes right back into the community.
"You're helping to put dinner on the table, you're helping to buy clothes for your kids, what have you, you are supporting local families," said Christopher.
Michelle Wise also opened a new Lafayette business, Reveille Coffee Bar, during the pandemic. She said where shoppers choose to spend their money these next few months will make or break the future of local businesses.
"As difficult as a time it may be right now, we want everyone to be here when this is all behind us so the only way for that to happen is to come out and support us now," said Wise.
"This is the bread and butter of your neighborhood, this is where you need to support to keep your area very thriving, so it's really important," said small business shopper, Judy Waszczuk.