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How are small businesses in small towns faring?

Small businesses are the backbone of small towns. How are they doing in this pandemic?

WAXHAW, N.C. — What’s not to love about a small town? The quaint feel, the friendliness, and the businesses that just seem to make small towns, well, small towns.

Mike Holliday owns Crossroads Coffee House in downtown Waxhaw.  If you’re within a block of Crossroads, your nose will sniff out the freshly ground beans and lead you right to the front porch.

It has been here for 20 years, open for a conversation all the while caffeinating this part of Union County amid a pandemic. Stimulus money helped Holliday and Crossroads the first time, he says a second round wouldn’t hurt either. 

“And that’s been helpful, a lot of businesses aren’t around anymore, we have been fortunate enough to ride through it,” said Holliday. 

Credit: Bill McGinty

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Just down the road, in South Carolina’s Fort Mill, you’ll find a two-year-old start-up boutique on highway 160 called “The Market”.

It’s a kitschy kind of local business, where you’ll find unique gifts ranging from personalized candles to clothing. All sold by friendly and energetic entrepreneur Kathy Duggan. 

Credit: Bill McGinty

“Yeah, I was very worried, I didn’t sleep for many nights,” said Duggan when the pandemic hit.  The onset of a pandemic was scary, but in the true spirit of business, Dugan said she zigged and zagged to survive.

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“We did not take stimulus money, instead I focused on my website creation and we went online, after all, people still needed gifts and so I did front porch drop-offs in many cases to get those gifts to them,” said Duggan.

Credit: Bill McGinty

Businesses surviving in small towns take guts, clear thinking, and customer loyalty, the 3 ingredients of success, at least at these two places.

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