Altavista prepares for Small Business Saturday, makes changes due to governor’s orders

Published: Nov. 25, 2020 at 5:53 PM EST
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ALTAVISTA, Va. (WDBJ) - Shoppers made their way to Altavista Wednesday, only days before Small Business Saturday.

It’s a day many folks traditionally see as busy.

“It’s usually a very busy day and lots of shoppers and lots of people from out of town come to shop local,” said Sommer Speck, Main Street Shoppes manager.

Although Speck usually looks forward to this Saturday, she says there are lotd of unknowns this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I do think it will be a bit of an impact for sure, but I do think it’s an unknown. These sorts of things are just - we want for people to come out and shop and we want them to feel safe,” said Speck.

Feeling safe is part of the reason the town’s Small Business Saturday event has been adjusted.

Street closures to allow for more crowds were planned, but had to be canceled due to Governor Ralph Northam’s updated orders.

“However, unfortunately, based on the governor’s order having to limit the size of the crowd, we opted not to do that,” said Amie Owens, assistant town manager.

Owens says they still want people to shop, but also feel safe doing so.

“We want people to come out. We want them to feel safe. All of the stores have hand sanitizer and masks and we will have masks available if people need them,” said Owens.

Back at Main Street Shoppes, Speck preps for a weekend that’s to be determined.

She says it could be slower due to the situation.

“I do anticipate it being a little bit smaller than it has in the past because of COVID and the governor’s mandate and all of those sorts of things,” said Speck.

Despite the restrictions, Speck and others still hope to see a good turnout.

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