LEESBURG, Fla. – In downtown Leesburg, instead of Black Friday, they’re calling it Plaid Friday, encouraging people to shop local.
“It’s been quieter, but we still have customers that are faithful,” said Dell Ross, owner of Doggibags Boutique.
Doggibags Boutique has been in downtown Leesburg for nearly 40 years. Ross said she’s been able to keep her business afloat during COVID-19 living by this mantra.
“You treat people the way you want to be treated, that’s the bottom line,” said Ross.
Not every small shop has been able to stay afloat. Some storefronts are empty with lease signs after businesses were forced to close due to the financial impacts of COVID-19.
“It’s so sad. It’s hard on a small business. Thank goodness I started my website at the beginning of the year so people were able to shop online,” said Leigh Ann Berry, owner of Prominent Fox Boutique.
Berry said while her business is surviving, she had to move to a smaller storefront.
Outside her shop, vendors are setting up for the Christmas Stroll event with live music and activities. Berry hopes that event will bring more customers to shop her unique clothing and accessories.
“It’s a small community down here. You can find something if you’re a sports fan, or movie buff, or if you like antique clothing,” said Mark Roberts, owner of Not Just Cardboard.
Not Just Cardboard is a comic book and collectibles store that just opened up downtown. Roberts said everyone benefits from shopping local.
“When people come here and spend money, it goes right back into the community,” said Roberts.
The Christmas Stroll holiday event will go on until 9 p.m. Friday in downtown Leesburg and some surrounding businesses are expected to have extended hours.