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Retailers grapple with pandemic on Small Business Saturday

Instead of one-day deals intended to lure large groups of shoppers, many retailers are spreading out their promotions throughout the holiday season.

In this image taken on Tuesday, Nov. 3 2020, Annie's Blue Ribbon General Store in Brooklyn, NY prepares for Small Business Saturday, founded by American Express in 2010 to encourage consumers to Shop Small, this year on November 28, 2020. (Diane Bondareff/American Express via AP Images)

BOSTON (AP) — Small retailers across Massachusetts are adjusting hours, taking wares outside and buying hand sanitizer in bulk as the holiday shopping season gets underway during the pandemic.

Many local businesses are hoping to see a boost on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, traditionally known as Small Business Saturday or Shop Local Saturday. But they’re having to make adjustments, just as many big retailers did ahead of Black Friday.

Instead of one-day deals intended to lure large groups of shoppers, many retailers are spreading out their promotions throughout the holiday season, Retailers Association of Massachusetts President Jon Hurst told The Worcester Telegram & Gazette. Businesses are also offering more curbside and online sales.

Retailers often rely on a spike in end-of-year sales to boost their bottom line. That will be especially important following business closures prompted by the pandemic earlier this year.

“It’s not just support on Small Business Saturday, but the overall holiday shopping season,” Hurst said. “It’s best to think a little differently than in the past, it’s best to shop early, to shop at different times.”

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