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Small business owner hopes for a busy holiday season despite pandemic

Katie Carrera opened a new floral shop in Denver in October and is looking for a boost in sales.

DENVER — When it comes to holiday shopping, Katie Carrera said she hopes people come out to see her flower shop in Denver called Fern and Bloom.

"I just got started actually opened in October, so was really counting on the holidays for a lot of shopping and holiday gifts," Carrera said.

She started up during COVID-19 restrictions, braving challenges felt by businesses everywhere.

"If I could make it happen in a pandemic, then it was the right thing to do," Carrera said.

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Carrera said she wants people to pay more attention to small businesses than the usual draw of big national stores. She said she wants the attention of people like Samantha Ryan.

"Yeah, I think that a lot of goods and services that you buy online, you can also find in your neighborhood," Ryan said. "It's important to support your neighbors."

Carrera said she's been working hard to get her store off the ground.

"Needless to say, I haven't had a day off since the middle of August. It's been every day," Carrera said.

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Small Business Saturday is the day after Black Friday. The Small Business Administration said last year, Small Business Saturday generated nearly $20 billion in sales nationally in 2019, up from almost $18 billion in sales the year before. The question is how will 2020 look?

"You know, I just don't fully know, and I'm hoping for the best," Carrera said.

Zach Pearson was out Friday shopping local stores in the commercial district near Tennyson Street and 41st Avenue in Denver with his wife and 3-year-old son.

"It's a lot harder for the small businesses to, you know, weather the storm," Pearson said. "It's something that I want here in the long run."

A long run is exactly what Carrera said she is looking for. But, she said she knows she's a small business taking a big chance during the holiday shopping season in the middle of a pandemic.

"If I had to completely close down, it would be detrimental," Carrera said. "I probably wouldn't be able to open back up."