RAPID CITY, S.D. — Retailers got an early start in this year of the pandemic, offering big savings online.
It wasn’t long ago when business owners around the country, including the Rushmore Mall, were forced to shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So we were shut down for a month in April but businesses have really come back strong,” said Sandy Brockhouse, the General Manager of Rushmore Mall.
Livelihoods were threatened. But as businesses opened up in South Dakota, local businesses looked to Black Friday as a needed safety net.
“Well, we still have the ‘hustle and bustle’ of the holidays, even amidst COVID but we’re very blessed to be having the kind of traffic that we are,” Brockhouse said. “We opened at 8:00 a.m. this morning and it’s been a steady crowd ever since.”
A strong turnout for the mall’s Black Friday sale has local small businesses optimistic and thankful for community support.
“So one thing that’s really happened for us is that we’ve gained so much support by locals wanting to support local businesses through the pandemic and so we’ve definitely benefited from that,” said Camylea Cox, the Owner of Cox’s Farm Stand.
“We appreciate everyone that does come out and support small businesses whether it’s me, my next door neighbor, the candy shop, the whatever, the dog park or buying a taco, I cannot express how much I appreciate customers for our small business community and our businesses,” added Sam Boldon, the Owner of Giddy Up and Go Boutique.
Supporting local businesses during Black Friday and year round doesn’t just come with a feeling of helping your community, as it’s those small businesses who go the extra mile to inform their neighbors who are also their customers.
“Well, you know the best thing about supporting the local products, it’s not only helping the local farmers and ranchers and the local farmers and ranchers in South Dakota, but South Dakota is known for our really nutritious and fresh products,” said Gwendolyn Kitzan of Kitzan Family Farms.