GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - The last three months of the year are crucial to the success of small businesses. Holidays like Halloween and Christmas bring customers into the store and money to the bottom line.
As businesses head into the fourth quarter of 2020, some local shops see the next three months as an opportunity to close out a shockingly strong year. Others are aiming to make up some ground after forced COVID closures. Either way, everyone recognizes the importance of the holiday season.
“The fourth quarter is always the most important business quarter, saleswise, for any company, especially with this year," said Wish List owner Carrie Deloach. “All the challenges we have had from storms to COVID-19... Sales in the fourth quarter of 2020 are extremely vital to our success."
It is that fact that has Deloach hopeful her products will fly off the racks in the next few months. It’s a hope that permeates far outside the children’s boutique.
Martin Miazza Gifts have done well this year but are still pushing for a big holiday boost.
“Always Christmas is king, it is. So we are hopeful, cautiously optimistic, that it will be a good fourth quarter," said the store’s owner Kennedy Miazza. “The year has not been a total bust. March and April were terrible but other than that we have kept our head above water."
COVID-19 was the culprit behind a tough March and April, but Miazza hopes the virus doesn’t push people away from locally-owned brick and mortar stores.
“I’m very hopeful that people will come here for that special gift, for that special wrap, the personal touch, not something online," said Miazza.
A busy next few months is necessary for some local shops, as a typically slow January awaits.
“From November 15th to December 24th, it is busy," said Ty Moore, who owns Gorjus Accessories. “After (December) 25th, we open back up on the 26th after Christmas and it is not as busy. January is very slow because everyone is shopped out," said Moore. “All of it runs together because it is going to be slow in January.”