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Small businesses rely on social media to boost holiday sales

Local businesses are upping the online presence to drive customers to shop local.
An ornament hangs on display at Booth 121 in Monona.
An ornament hangs on display at Booth 121 in Monona.(WMTV)
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 5:53 PM CST
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MONONA, Wis. (WMTV) - For many communities, Small Business Saturday has become a day to shop and eat local.

This year, shopping on the Saturday after Thanksgiving will look different due to the pandemic.

“This is not only a part of the usual reminder of the importance of our small businesses,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “This is really part of our overall strategy that we all need to use to come together over the next few months.”

While the National Retail Federation reports an increase in sales for the month of October, many of those are due to online shopping on big box store websites.

“There’s a major transition to shopping online this year,” said Colin Murray, the Executive Director of Dane Buy Local. “And a lot of those dollars and about half of those additional sales are going to Amazon.”

Small business owners say they are upping the game on their social media platforms to compete.

Are you thinking local first before you log on to Amazon? Small businesses in Monona are relying on social media to help...

Posted by Gabriella Rusk NBC15 on Thursday, November 19, 2020

At Booth 121, sisters-in-law Leah Robertson and Rebecca Aide say they post their merchandise to give shoppers an idea of what to expect when entering the store.

“We really try and encourage people to have a good idea of what they’re looking for, which is why we put so much on our Facebook page,” said Aide.

The owners opened up the store on Monona Drive five years ago and sell work from over 100 local artists.

“A lot of them are really struggling to make sales,” said Aide. “We’re doing all we can to promote the local artists.”

Across the street at The Cozy Home, Leah Hernandez says she relies on Facebook to showcase what consignment furniture and home décor are available to purchase in her store.

“Our Facebook and our Instagram continues to just be a hero for us in getting our information out there for the people who are still not feeling comfortable to shop,” said Hernandez. “Social media has been integral for us this year.”

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