The small businesses in your neighborhood are really counting on you this Saturday amid the coronavirus pandemic.By Jon Delano

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — This weekend is Small Business Saturday, an important shopping day for mom-and-pop stores across the country.

Last year, 39 percent of Americans did some holiday shopping at a local small business. Make no mistake, the small businesses in your neighborhood are really counting on you this Saturday.

Last year, over $19 billion was spent on Small Business Saturday, and small business owners are hoping you won’t forget them this year.

“Small Business Saturday is generally the second or third busiest day of our whole year,” Adlai Yeomans, co-owner of White Whale Bookstore in Bloomfield, told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Friday.

Coming in the middle of a pandemic, this Saturday is more critical than ever.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

“Small businesses have been hurt worse than anybody because a lot of them had to be closed,” says Audrey Guskey, a marketing professor at Duquesne University.

At White Whale Bookstore on Saturday, Yeomans said the store will have to dispense with a lot of the fun stuff, but they are trying to adjust amid the pandemic.

“We normally have donuts and bagels and coffee from other small businesses in town that we giveaway in the store. We’re not doing that as well. We are going to have a coffee truck outside,” said Yeomans.

With only five people allowed in the bookstore at one time, you may need that coffee as you wait in line. But small businesses have also upped their online service and even offer curbside pick-up.

“There’s a table that will have your name with it. You can just grab it and head out the door. It’s right in front of the store. Or if you’d rather not come in and feel more comfortable staying in your car, just give us a shout and one of us will walk it out for you,” said Yeomans.

Despite these efforts and more by small business owners, Prof. Guskey says sales are likely to be down this Saturday.

But she notes when you shop local and small instead of the big box stores, you really help your own community.

“When you think about the dollars that are spent, 69 cents of every dollar for small businesses stays in the local community. So it’s such a huge opportunity not just for the small businesses but for our communities themselves,” says Guskey.