North Texans encouraged to shop local this holiday season

Small businesses in North Texas hit hard by the pandemic are urging you to think of them as you shop for the holidays this year.

This week kicks off the holiday shopping season. Many Black Friday deals have already started.

DFW business owners want to remind you this year that shopping small is more important than ever.

Kimberly Borges and Miriam McDonald are best friends and former co-workers turned co-founders of their own brand, PWR WMN.

“We realized that a lot of our blazers that we were wearing to work were boxy, very masculine,” Borges said. “As women, we’ve overcome a lot of obstacles to get a seat at the table. And we realized we weren’t really being ourselves at the table. We were being replicas of our male counterparts.”

The two made their first sale in the fall of 2019 and the company took off, largely relying on events and pop-up shops.

“We wanted to make it fun, feminine, colorful,” McDonald said.

Until 2020 when the pandemic brought business to a halt.

“I think we had like five events in March. And then all of a sudden, they got canceled and we were just devastated,” McDonald recalled.

That's when social media became their storefront.

“We are constantly scared,” Borger said. “And every time someone buys a blazer and we get that notification on our phone, it’s like ‘thank you, thank you thank you!’”

Cody Ellison and Ken Valencia own four shops in Dallas' Bishop Arts neighborhood. They sell everything from clothing to furniture to local art. After shutting down for several months, they hope holiday shoppers will make up for lost time.

“Small business is the backbone of every community,” Valencia said. “And it’s so important right now more than ever to support the small businesses. We're here for you, and we’re just relying on you to be here for us.”

So whether it's shopping in person or all online, these business owners thank you.

Small Business Saturday is this weekend. The initiative was started by American Express during the 2010 recession.

Ten years later, the need is even greater. Amex says 62% of U.S. small businesses reported they need spending to return to normal by the end of the year to stay in business.