ABC NEWS 4
November 27, 2020
by Rachel Ellis
CHARLESTON, SC (WCIV) — The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce said ‘Small Business Saturday’ is an opportunity “for everybody who says that they love small businesses to actually show it, by putting their money where their mouths are.”
Knapp said it’s critical to shop local on Saturday and every day as small businesses continue to battle the pandemic. He explained minority-owned businesses are among those hit hardest.
Transformation Yoga in downtown Charleston is owned by Kennae Miller. Miller said her studio has stayed resilient throughout the pandemic, though she shared some of the challenges faced over the past several months for black-owned businesses.
“This summer, with the death of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, a lot of people felt compelled to contribute to black-owned businesses and black people as a whole, but we have noticed those trends have kind of actually stopped or dwindled down,” Miller said.
Transformation Yoga is a studio that’s built on community. Miller said the framework is “to come from an anti-racism and anti-oppressive lens.”
“It was very important to us for folks to be able to have a home,” she said.
Miller said she’s continued to teach throughout the pandemic, though it’s been through virtual platforms.
“We haven’t been able to physically meet in our space, which, especially for the black community, is really challenging because were such relational people. It’s been slightly traumatizing and sad that we can’t connect in that same way,” Miller added.
2020 has been a challenging year all around for small businesses.
“Our wish this holiday season is for everybody to understand the value of your local small businesses and what they mean to your community,” Knapp explained.
That goes especially for minority-owned businesses.
“Follow them on social media. We all know how social media works off of algorithms. The more that you follow, the more that you share and like and save their posts and the messages that they are putting out, the higher it will boost them,” Miller said.
Miller stands in solidarity with other local businesses and explained how she and others have managed during this year.
“We did one virtual session. It was specifically for black folks of color, and we were talking about in a pandemic, something like this, how our parents have always taught us to be prepared.”
The US Chamber of Commerce said during the pandemic, minority-owned businesses are more likely to have tried and failed to get a loan and more minority-owned businesses expect revenue to decrease.
Additionally, they report minority-owned businesses are more concerned about the risks COVID-19 poses to their customers and employees.