Holiday Season Could Make or Break Small Businesses in Massachusetts

From serious COVID restrictions to supply chain issues, the last couple of years have been tough on small businesses. This season, everyone is contending with the highest rate of inflation in 40 years.

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Deja Brew, a local family-owned coffee shop, has been in Southie for about 27 years. Operations director Jenni McNeill told NBC10 Boston that Small Business Saturday helps get them in good shape as they head into their slow season.

“We will see a little bit of a fall off, you know, after the New Year,” McNeill said. “People always set their New year’s resolutions to make coffee at home and stuff and let me just tell you, it only lasts for a little bit and everybody comes back, which we’re thankful for.”

Deja Brew didn’t close down completely during the heigh of the pandemic, but like other small business they made major changes. The coffee shop opened for take-out only, temporarily stopped using plastic cups and worked with community partners to support one another, McNeill said. Now that businesses have fully reopened, they’re contending with inflation rates. One “huge” way to help, McNeill said, is by buying gift cards.

“Now with the inflation – it’s definitely taking a hit on the businesses,” McNeill said. “We’re trying hardest to make sure that everything goes to customer, but at the end of the day it has been pretty wild the past few months with the inflation.”

McNeil urged people to turn out Thursday night for the South Boston Christmas Stroll, where local businesses will open their doors while Santa makes his rounds from 4-6 p.m.

“The holidays around here are very special,” McNeill said. “After yesterday’s huge Black Friday and seeing everybody out and about shopping, we definitely have to remember the mom and pops, especially this neighborhood. It is the core of our community.”

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