VIRGINIA BEACH (WAVY) — Saturday marks Small Business Saturday, a day focused on promoting local stores and shops. The ViBe Creative District in Virginia Beach usually holds a big shopping event featuring local businesses.
With the pandemic, there will be some changes this year and an even bigger emphasis on shopping small.
More than three quarters of small businesses in Hampton Roads have faced negative impacts because of the coronavirus, according to the Norfolk-based Retail Alliance.
The holiday season typically brings a huge business boom, but the pandemic may make that tough. Organizers in the ViBe Creative District are doing all they can to make sure small businesses survive.
“Small businesses are a very important part of our DNA in the ViBe Creative District,” said Kate Pittman, the district’s executive director.
The artsy community is located just blocks from the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
“Over the last four years, we’ve added over 45 small businesses to the ViBe District and we do not want to see any of those businesses go away,” Pittman said.
This will mark the 4th year the ViBe has hosted a Small Business Saturday event. It’s always filled with family fun and interesting gifts, but this year will look a little bit different.
“Instead of having a major road shut down and everyone lumped together in one common area, we have spread everyone out throughout the District,” said Pittman. “There are six different pop up locations at some of our lead business partners here in the ViBe.”
Pittman says the support and collaboration between businesses is encouraging, as bigger stores offer to host pop-up businesses outside.
“Instead of being worried about competition, they’re actually saying come here, we’ll offer you some space, some partnership this holiday season,” she said.
That support from businesses and hopefully from the community is what Pittman believes will help these shops survive 2020.
“When you shop small, you’re not buying a CEO’s third home, you’re actually paying for swim lessons or dance lessons for locals and that’s important,” said Pittman.
On Saturday, there will also be a scavenger hunt in the ViBe. The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is also offering free admission all weekend long.
Don’t forget to bring a mask and stay six feet apart from people who are not in your household.
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