Small businesses hope holiday season helps them survive

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The message on the door of Trunc in Northern Liberties is one Dorothea Gamble takes to heart.

"Buy, buy, buy, we have a lot of unique things, great stocking stuffers," said Gamble.

Not even the busiest holiday season could make up for what she's lost.

"90 percent of our business was slaughtered," said Gamble. "We just started regaining our revenue, the last couple of months."

Gamble, like small business owners everywhere, is trying to survive the pandemic and hopes this holiday season helps.

The crowd out in Chinatown on this Small Business Saturday hoped to keep the community afloat.

"Because of the pandemic, there's been a lot of backlash on the Chinese community," said Nadia Tran, the manager at Tiger Sugar, a new business that opened near 10th and Arch streets on Thanksgiving.

Next door, Sarino Hello Kitty is nearly empty. The store has been there for decades. The two shops hope to lean on each other for business.

"We are a very important part of the community, and we need each other to survive no matter where we're from," said Tran.

Pucci Manuli in Ardmore, Delaware County, is keeping the door locked and asking customers to knock to control the flow.

"When you pay a small business, or you buy something from a small business, you're really supporting an individual, their family, and this community," said Nancy Scarlato, the executive director of The Ardmore Initiative.

Ardmore is helping small businesses with gift card contests and free parking to attract people downtown.

Collingswood, New Jersey, is offering free parking through the holiday season too. Small business owners there say they need all the help they can get to survive.

"People don't realize that the small business owner puts up his house, his savings, everything is invested in this business. You only have so much money to go," said Al DiBartolo, the owner of DiBartolo Bakery. "Once it's done, it's done. You can't even recoup."
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