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Maryland Small Businesses Lean Heavily On Cyber Monday Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Small businesses in Maryland are relying heavily on Cyber Monday and online sales to get them through the 2020 holiday season.

"We're one of the few remaining retail stores on this block, so it's especially important to prioritize local businesses," Rachel Cooper said inside Brightside Boutique's Hampden location.

Brightside Boutique ran Cyber Monday deals beginning at midnight, paralleling its in-person retail.

"We really entered 2020 with our best foot forward, and we're super fortunate to have a really great, east, shop-able website," Cooper said, referring to Brightside's upgrade of its website late last year.

Small businesses have been hit hard throughout the pandemic and are not expecting the same in-person boost they typically receive during the holiday season.

Small startup Wine O'Clock opened its Mount Vernon Marketplace location just as the pandemic hit Maryland.

"(Online revenue goes toward) inventory. That money goes toward advertising, whereas though a lot of the larger companies have budgets for those things already," Wine O'Clock owner Virginia Wilkens said. "Not only does it allow us to generate revenue, but, also it helps our businesses stay open."

READ MORE: Downtown Partnership Of Baltimore Brings Back Gift Card Program To Help Businesses Struggling Due To COVID-19

Candy Schibli of Southeastern Roastery, which has a Fort Avenue location in south Baltimore's Locust Point neighborhood, also just updated its website. The coffee roaster's share of online business increased by 50% this year, Schibli said.

"I think that's what's going to really get us through this holiday season and into the first part of the year as well," Schibli said. "We've been lean and that's kind of saved us to this point, honestly."

If you can not make it in person to support your local businesses, check to see if they have any online sales first. Many businesses offer shipping discounts or curbside pickup.

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