Local business owners stress the importance of shopping local this holiday season

OAK HILL/BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – In one of the most challenging years for local businesses, this season, business owners are calling on the public to remember to shop local now more than ever. 

Dana Blankenship owns Blue Magnolia, and she is excited to open her Beckley boutique back up this weekend after being closed since July because of the pandemic.

She says she has had to pivot more than she ever has before launching an app, doing curbside pickup and really expanding their online presence.

Now, in time for the holidays, they will be back open for in-person shopping. With everything going on in terms of the pandemic, Blankenship says the big box stores will be fine and that it is the local places that will need the support this year

“We offer an experience versus just going into a Walmart or one of the big chain stores,” she said. “You know, we know who you are. We know your family. Chances are, our kids go to school together.” 

Beulah Runyon, who opened Tumblers and More in Oak Hill, had a similar message. She opened the clothing and personalized gift store during the pandemic and said it has been the locals who have gotten her through, and it will be them who allow her to continue to thrive. 

“I mean, the community has been very supportive,” Runyon said. “The local businesses, that’s all they’ve got is their community.” 

This holiday season, local business owners are encouraging people to get creative this year, shop local and do so quickly because they do not know what the future may hold. 

“If you want to create a gift basket, or if you want to get someone a car detail or something like that, just think outside of the box and then search out your small businesses. It might be a little extra work, but you’re going to benefit in the long run and so are they because we’re going to be here when this is all over. That’s the goal. I hope,” Blankenship said.

Blue Magnolia will be open starting this weekend on Thursdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also check them out online at https://bluemagnoliaclothingco.com/

Tumblers and More is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Both will be offering Black Friday and Small Business Saturday deals that you will be able to soon see on their Facebook pages.

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.