Maryville small business creates online presence during pandemic, sees huge boost in sales over holiday weekend

Many were forced to shut their doors during the pandemic and some turned to selling products online for the first time.

BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. — Data shows small businesses saw a boost in online sales this past weekend. 

Many were forced to shut their doors during the pandemic and some turned to selling products online for the first time.

A Blount County business did just that and saw an online boom over the holiday weekend. 

Joy Carver, owner of Dandy Lions Gifts in Maryville, said getting into the online market was never the initial plan. 

“I think people have loved us through the years because we know them by name and they like the personal aspect of it,” she said.

But shutting down earlier this year made her consider otherwise. 

“As everyone learned, early March or April it was sink or swim. Some of those hard held long beliefs I

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Make a Christmas tree ornament with your pet at one of these holiday events at Legacy West in Plano

Legacy West in Plano is holding a number of holiday events at what it’s calling the “Legacy North Pole,” now through Dec. 31. These include visits with Santa, a pet ornament class, an ugly holiday sweater event with a live music performance and more.

Visitors must wear face masks and practice social distancing, with other safety precautions in place, according to Legacy West.

Note: Event details are subject to change because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Event cancellations may be reported by emailing [email protected].

Photos with Santa

A reservation is required for a 10-minute session with Santa and includes two digital images delivered within one week. A time slot must be booked for individual children. Group photos require only one slot. Photos are taken by Photography by Misty. Price: $59.

When: Dec. 5, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dec. 6 and Dec. 13, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Christmas lights in the Deerfield neighborhood in Plano, Texas on Wednesday, November 28, 2012.

Pet ornament

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Looking for local gift ideas this holiday season?

Buying local is more important than ever, and this holiday season there’s one guide that can help you find Michigan-made products for anyone on your list.

Lisa Diggs, the founder of the Buy Michigan Now campaign, spoke with Jason about what kind of products you can expect to find on their gift guide.

Buy Michigan Now releases a gift guide every year, and this year because of the pandemic, they’ve included more than 200 items across 20 different categories. If nothing on the list calls your name, you’re not out of luck. All the items link back to the business’ website where you can check out all the products they have available.

Diggs started with some of the food based gifts you can find on the guide, including nut brittle from Granny’s Confections in Howell.

If you’d rather have someone put everything together for you, you can get a basket

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VA Black Business Directory Offers Guide For Holiday Shopping

FREDERICKSBURG, VA — The Virginia Black Business Directory has released a holiday gift guide for shoppers who want to support Black-owned businesses in the state during the holiday season.

The digital guide includes lots of holiday gift ideas that can be purchased online. The guide also has information about special discounts at stores and businesses across Virginia.

The holiday gift guide features an interview with Renee Ventrice, co-owner of Cork and Keg Tours in Ashburn. The company takes customers on tours of many of the wineries and breweries in Loudoun County.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Ventrice has been hosting virtual wine tastings of Loudoun wines using Zoom. For in-person tours, Cork and Keg Tours has installed a partition in the Mercedes van between the driver and the customers who go on tours of wineries and breweries.

SEE ALSO: Virginia Black Business Directory Expo Coming To Fredericksburg

“You may try

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Amazon Smashes Records as Pandemic Spurs Online Holiday Shopping said Tuesday this year’s start to the holiday shopping season has been the biggest in its history as the coronavirus pandemic drove consumers to its e-commerce platform in record numbers.

a close up of a plate: Amazon Smashes Records as Pandemic Spurs Online Holiday Shopping

© TheStreet
Amazon Smashes Records as Pandemic Spurs Online Holiday Shopping

While Amazon didn’t disclose total sales figures for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, it did say in a blog post that customers have been shopping early for gifts and seasonal items, making it “our biggest holiday season to date.”


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“In a holiday season unlike any other, it’s clear that customers still want great deals on gifts for their loved ones or a little something extra for themselves, and we’re glad to help deliver smiles throughout the season,” Amazon Worldwide Consumer CEO Jeff Wilke said in the blog post.

Amazon did disclose how its third-party retailers are doing. Independent businesses selling on Amazon surpassed $4.8 billion in

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Portland small businesses see sales uptick over holiday weekend

Small Business Saturday and the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season brought out locally-minded shoppers this weekend.

PORTLAND, Ore. — There’s been a big push to shop local this year, more it seems than in years past. Small Business Saturday and the unofficial kickoff to holiday shopping happened over the weekend, bringing with it an uptick for some locally-owned small businesses. 

Lluvia Merello and her business partner Chance Starr own Indigenous Come Up, a small business that specializes in arts, crafts and jewelry all designed and made by Indigenous people.

Merello said during the pandemic, it’s been tough to adjust from in-person, market booth sales, to having a good online presence. She said sales have been slow.

“One-hundred percent everything came to a screeching halt for several months,” said Merello.

But this past weekend, with Small Business Saturday and many people starting their holiday shopping, she saw an increase

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Steal This Five-Time Entrepreneur’s Bold But Simple Plan to Kill Holiday Season Stress for His Team

These days David Cancel is a five-time serial entrepreneur, CEO of his latest startup Drift, occasional columnist, and an entrepreneur in residence at Harvard Business School. But way back in 2000 he was a first-time founder of a business that sold to large enterprises, and every December he was dying of stress to close deals before the end of the fiscal year. 

“Eighty some odd percent of our business we closed in the last two weeks of the calendar year,” he recalls to, “so you can imagine it was not a fun lead up to the end-of-the-year holidays. It was really, really painful.” After the business sold in 2006, he vowed he’d never put himself or his employees in that situation again. 

For years it was easy enough to keep that promise. His next few businesses sold mainly to consumers or smaller companies, making the end-of-year crunch less

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This holiday season, many small business owners will give thanks to President Trump

For most small business owners and their families — particularly those that have suffered so much because of the pandemic — there is little to be thankful for this holiday season. Except for one thing: Donald Trump. “I’m disappointed that he lost,” a client told me last week. “But I’m thankful for the four years we had.”  

She’s not alone. 

While many are celebrating the president’s election loss, millions of small business owners and their employees who made up the historic 74 million people that voted for him will lament his departure in the new year. Sure, they are frustrated with his behavior, communication style, personality and leadership flaws that significantly overshadowed the many policy achievements of his administration … and cost him the election. But — at least economically — they are thankful for what he did.

For example, during the president’s tenure, economic growth picked up significantly

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Local treasures at the virtual “Northwest Made Holiday Market”

The market brings together a community of 60+ vendors from the Portland-metro area, featuring local BIPOC and women entrepreneurs and businesses.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Friends always knew Komi Nugloze had an eye for fashion design. “Every time we would go somewhere they’d say ‘Oh, you like to dress up, you need to be a designer and create some clothes for us’ and it started like that,” said Nugloze.

His business started in his homeland of Togo in West Africa. At 18 years old, he started sewing and traveled all over West Africa to sell his designs. Five years ago, Nugloze brought his passion for fashion to downtown Portland with N’kossi Boutique. 

“I’m trying to use African fabric to adapt to the regular clothes everybody can wear,” explained Nugloze. He uses African fabric to make custom one-of-a-kind pieces and also sells jewelry made in Togo.

This year his business suffered a

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How to Support Black-Owned Businesses This Holiday Season

Illustration for article titled How to Support Black-Owned Businesses This Holiday Season

Photo: GaudiLab (Shutterstock)

Closing the racial wealth gap is a driving force behind a common phrase you may have heard: support Black businesses. And since the holidays are often about buying gifts and taking advantage of post-Thanksgiving deals, it’s a perfect opportunity to find new ways of supporting those small businesses while finding a great deal. There are several ways to find businesses to support, complete with databases and sites that help you locate Black-owned businesses in your area and across the country. Here is a list of ways to support Black businesses this holiday season.

Catch up on comics

The first Black women-owned comic shop, Amalgam Comics is located in Philadelphia and is dedicated to representation and inclusion in comics. Started by owner Ariell Johnson, the idea for the shop was born while Johnson was still attending undergrad at Temple University. In

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