Northeast Ohio small business owners encourage you to shop local first for Christmas gifts

CLEVELAND - By the time you can go in for Round 3, getting those leftover turkey dinners from Thanksgiving, it’ll be time to work it off with a little retail therapy.

Financial consultant Larese Purnell from Financial Consultant for CLE Consulting Firm is trying to encourage Northeast Ohio residents to shop local first.

“We have to shop small and shop local. Around this time of year is when the most amount of small businesses actually close their doors because they can’t compete with the big box stores,” he said.

To make matters worse, the National Retail Federation found 20 to 40 percent of yearly sales for small and mid-sized businesses take place within the last two months of the year.

Purnell works to help local entrepreneurs, especially black-owned businesses, start up and stay afloat.

Like Demetria Francis’ Posh Collections Boutique on Mayfield Rd in South Euclid.

“I was struggling in the beginning, but I’m starting to learn the business,” Francis said.

A cosmetologist by trade, she initially started her business started out as a hair extension supplier and later expanded into a full retail store.

“It was very complicated because you try to figure out what are the price points that people want,” she said.

Now in business for two years, last holiday season, she took a major loss, but this year, she’s learning from that experience.

“Every year I’m trying to figure it out,” she said.

 Utilizing social media and the web to get the word out, but she knows there is no guarantee.

“Again, I’m not even in the mall. You know I’m just on a local street in a small community, so you know, you get nervous,” she said.

Yet, she’s keeping her spirits up.

“I think this year will be our best year yet.”

To encourage local shopping, Purnell is planning a Cash Mob at two local shops on Black Friday. You can see the times and locations in the ad below.

He’ll be raffling off brand new LeBron James shoes and Cavs Tickets for those who make a purchase.

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