holiday shopping

Small Business Saturday Comes as Local Shops Recover From Pandemic

Several business districts across San Diego County are participating in Small Business Saturday

NBC Universal, Inc.

Local businesses are inviting San Diegans to shop small for Small Business Saturday. The national campaign was created by American Express to encourage holiday shoppers to support independent, locally owned shops. Several business districts across San Diego County are participating.

“It’s really important that we galvanize the energy of the day and support each other, send each other down the street and back,” said Khea Pollard, co-founder of Café X.

Pollard and her mother, Cynthia Ajani founded Café X. They were forced to close their doors in the College Area in 2020.

“I was very broken hearted about the experience. I just had to take it in stride and say what can we do,” said Pollard.

After the shutdown, Pollard and Ajani kept their brand going online. Along with web-based sales, the mother-daughter team was able to create their own custom coffee blend.

After months of challenges, Café X reopened in Logan Heights. Customers are happy to be back.

“Once I heard they were opening again I was like let’s check it out. I like the vibe and I like supporting local businesses around the city,” said Michael Martinez, a San Diego resident.

“It’s a small business and it’s coffee, so that worked out great,” said Cindy Snow, a San Diego resident.

To encourage shoppers, some business districts offered gift cards and swag bags to shoppers. Shopping independent means dollars stay local, and in many cases, shoppers are getting food and gifts they can't find at large malls and retail stores.

Neighbors in Logan Heights are hoping that sense of community helps San Diego small businesses survive and thrive.

34% of Americans said they planned to shop on Small Business Saturday, according to a CNBC survey. According to American Express, consumers spent $20 billion during Small Business Saturday in 2020.

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