Entrepreneurs in the D.C. area are reveling in Small Business Saturday, especially after last year’s especially tough holiday weekend.
At Bethesda’s Wildwood shopping center, folks who run enterprises of 500 or fewer employees pride themselves on catering to their customers and adapting to maintain them using lessons from the pandemic.
“If it weren’t for our clientele and their loyalty we wouldn’t be standing here today,” Sherri Hatam, the co-owner of Belina Boutique, said. “We’ve worked with people’s comfort levels throughout the pandemic. So if somebody wants us to send a package to their home, we send it over. They can pick it up at home if they’re not comfortable wearing a mask.”
Wildwood is a well-established small business mecca that fared well during tough times.
Over in D.C.’s Anacostia, the potential is high for a growing business strip.
Two years ago, Jordan Payne saw that potential and opened Nomad Smoke Shop on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue.
“I thought, what better time than with all the changes going on in the community,” Payne said.
Location is vital, too. Believe it or not, Payne said he gets a lot of foot traffic from the other side of the river.
The Eleventh Street Bridge was designed to be a walkable link across the economic chasm that’s existed between east of the river and the west bank.
“[There's] a lot more foot traffic coming on, especially on good weather days. With the Anacostia Park and everything, we're seeing a lot more foot traffic, a lot of dogs and a lot of people on bikes,” Payne said.
They’re drawing up plans to become a bigger small business, with a cigar lounge and outdoor space.
The hope among these merchants, whether they're on old Georgetown Road or Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, is that every day will be Small Business Saturday.