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Black Friday big for pandemic-weakened local businesses

Posted at 5:43 PM, Nov 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-20 23:54:05-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Black Friday is one week away, and local businesses are hopeful for increased sales to make up for losses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Black Friday is going to be a big day,” Downtown Management District Communication and Events Manager Jordan Michael said. "It’s typically when we start our holiday shopping, and everybody goes to the big box stores. We really want to encourage local shopping, and Downtown Corpus Christi is all local.”

The Downtown Management District is trying to bring shoppers to Downtown Corpus Christi on Black Friday and throughout the holiday season by creating a festive atmosphere including wrapping trees with Christmas lights.

“Even in the midst of a pandemic you can still come and see lights, and be socially distant, and grab take-out at a local restaurant,” Michael said.

One such restaruant is Dokyo Dauntaun which opened in February, just before the novel coronavirus pandemic began. Owner Kil Lee says he appreciates the DMD’s work and believes it will drive people to Downtown from other parts of the city.

“It’s a far trek from Southside and the Island,” Lee said. "They’re going to stop by and eat dinner here, and then also move on to other places.”

Vintage 20/20 would like to be one of those places. Store worker Jose Soria says an aggressive social media campaign helped the store weather the pandemic. But with another surge of COVID-19 cases possibly dealing another blow to the economy, he’s hopeful for a successful Black Friday.

“In the long run, every day is an important one,” Soria said. "But especially when we can get people out and give ourselves a little cushion should anything else happen.”

Michael believes that financial cushion will come out of Black Friday next weekend and the following day, Shop Small Saturday, which encourages people to shop at small, local businesses.

“We encourage people to think about Downtown whenever they’re thinking about their holiday shopping,” Michael said.