Small Business Saturday extra important to Austin businesses due to COVID-19

The unpredictable past two years makes this year's Small Business Saturday extra important to Austin businesses.

This year marks 30 years of Uncommon Objects, an Austin antique store. The last 20 months have been filled with uncertainty for the dozens of vendors that work with the store. 

"When you're shopping with us, we're an antique mall, so it's about 28 vendors, so you're not just supporting one small business. You're supporting about 28 small businessees," Daniel Schmidt with Uncommon Objects said. "So a lot of people in Austin are benefiting from shopping here. I think a lot of our regulars know that and really want to help us out in that way."

The majority of ownership of small businesses comes from Austin locals, so you know you're supporting your neighbors. 

According to the Small Business Administration, more than half of Americans own or work for a small business. Small businesses create about two-thirds of new jobs in the U.S. every year.

It's not just buying local goods that will benefit the community, but eating local is a major way to help as well.

"Across the board local business is great because a lot of, a proportion of what your spending is going to go directly back to community almost all the time," Patrick Larussa with ATX Food Company said.

Typically about 13% of every dollar spent at a chain store stays in the local economy. When you shop at a local business, 45% of every dollar stays in the community.

ATX Food Co. fed first responders during February's deadly winter storm.

"You can be assured in Austin a lot of these local businesses are sourcing from local companies that do fully organic produce you can trust the seasonal side of when the produce is being delivered to you," Larussa said.

The pandemic hit restaurants particularly hard, as they figured out new seating layouts, ways to feed customers outdoor with COVID restrictions and creating new takeout options.

The Federal Reserve estimates 200,000 more businesses closed in the first year of the pandemic, compared to years before.

For more details on how to support businesses in Austin, you can click here.

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