Last-minute holiday shopping has small businesses hopeful amid pandemic

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- While the Philadelphia region experienced its first snowstorm of the year, there is no rest for retailers along Germantown Avenue in Chestnut Hill.

Store owners like Yosma Luby of El Quetzal boutique are scrambling to make up lost revenue from a year that has forced many businesses into the red.

"Most retail makes 75 percent of their business through the holidays, and none of us are good," said Luby.

Small business advocates emphasize the importance of avoiding big box stores and going to the store down the street instead.

"Many of them have had to make changes to their models, reduce their staff," said Philip Dawson, executive director of the Chestnut Hill Business District. "This time of year, which is traditionally the best time for their sales, it's critical that people come out and support them."

  • List showing which county's retail businesses received the most small business loans:

  • Database of all Pa. retail businesses that received a small business loan:

According to the 6abc data journalism team, more than 15,000 small retail businesses statewide received PPP loans, totaling $1.5 billion.

The top four counties receiving that aid are Montgomery, Allegheny, Bucks, and Philadelphia.

Twenty businesses in Chestnut Hill received $412,000 total in aid.

Some shoppers say there's something special about that mom and pop store down the street.

"It's personal," said Mary Anne Belli of Andorra. "You get to know the store owners, and they get to know you, and they can tell you about their products."
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