BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday across the country. It’s one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but with the COVID-19 pandemic, that could change. Mom and pop shops like Cooks World and The Bird House are asking for your support.

Cooks World has served the Town of Brighton since 1978. Chris Wiedemier, the owner, is asking the community to just “be there” for Small Business Saturday. With what 2020 has done to the economy, he says businesses will take all the foot traffic they can get.

“You know, I can’t stress enough for people to support their local favorite retail stores,” says Wiedemer adding, “Show your support and patronage, and we hope people are doing that.”

Manager Rebecca Carney says even with the Covid-19 pandemic, if you don’t feel safe coming in, don’t worry. You can still shop there and many other smaller places, minus the fear of virus transmission.

“Those that aren’t comfortable coming in are still calling and we’re doing the curbside pickup, which really helps them because they can still get what they need and feel safe,” she says.

With Black Friday sales drawing in customers, Tim Boland and wife say with the pandemic still raging, and the potential for crowding tomorrow, choose the time you head out wisely. 

At The Bird House, manager Liz Magnanti reminds all that a portion of Brighton is in the ‘orange zone’, meaning a number of places are shut down…again. She’s thankful that tomorrow, they can be open for Small Business Saturday.

“Others haven’t been so lucky, especially restaurants, salons and that kind of thing, so we’ve been doing pretty well, but not everyone can say that,” she says.

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy released the following statement in regard to Small Business Saturday:

“It’s hard to think of a year that Small Business Saturday has meant more to local businesses here in the Greater Rochester/Finger Lakes region. In the face of the ongoing pandemic, your support can mean the difference between the continued existence and success of beloved restaurants and retailers, or their permanent closure. We ask our community members to #ShopROC in whatever way they can this holiday season – whether it be online, purchasing gift cards, curbside pickup, delivery, or any of the creative ways our businesses are adapting and continuing to serve their customers. Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce continues to advocate at the local, state, and federal levels for desperately needed financial support and common sense mandate relief. By pulling together, we will make it through this difficult time and emerge a stronger and more resilient community.”

Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy

While Wiedemer says they sell enough food at Cooks World to be essential, with this year going the way it has, and policies in a constant stream of change… he’s not betting on anything staying solid. 

“We need you now more than ever. We’re here for you. We’re working hard, so just go out and support your local business,” he says.

Customers Friday at Cooks World in Brighton