Small business owners ask to shop local, it could save their business

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OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 News) – According to a 2019 poll by Marist College and National Public Radio 76% of adults shop all online. That means small business owners are feeling the pinch and are encouraging people to shop local for the holidays.

Jana Penman is the owner and operator of Rainy Day Emporium, a gift shop on historic 25th street in Ogden.

“People I mean, not coming in like they used to, it’s had a huge effect and when COVID hit, I didn’t have a website,” said Penman.

She made a website just this year, because of the pandemic and now is selling items online.

“We depended on the tourists and also all the events that we would have downtown Ogden would bring a lot of business in,” she said.

To evolve with the times, she’s changed the experience for web shoppers, holding some items online that she doesn’t have in store.

“When I first threw out our website, it was pretty rough, I’ve just recently went through and redone it, it’s a lot better now but like I said, I’ve had to try adapt and try to get some sort of sales,” added Penman.

On Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, she’s running a special. It’s a risk she’s willing to take to attract customers.

“Giving discounts actually hurts quite a bit because I could use the revenue, but to get people in, to get them buying, I feel like I have to offer those, so I’m willing to sacrifice that, to get some people in,” she said.

Penman says she is unsure if she’s going to be able to renew her lease on 25th street come February and she may have to close up shop due to the decline in sales.

“Myself and some other businesses here, we’re lucky to be even able to pay the rent,” said Penman.

But, she’s staying hopeful and doing what she can to stay afloat and is hoping locals support businesses like hers, in these trying times.

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