ST. LOUIS ( -- As COVID-19 cases rise again, there's growing concern over whether many small businesses will be able to survive the pandemic.

We're moving into a crucial time of year for them and now there's a push to help small businesses stay alive.

Donna Overy, the owner of Naturally Inspired Gifts in Kirkwood, said she normally puts together custom gift baskets for corporate but hasn't really been able to this year because of the pandemic and people working from home, not the office. 

"Putting me way behind, just trying to get people to come in," Overy said. "Nowadays people just don't want to come out."

Like a lot of businesses she's been a struggle this year. Business is down 50%.

"Shop local. Even if it's not us," Overy said. "Because we're struggling right now and we want to be here next year for you."

Some stores have upped their online presence. They're offering deals to get people in the door and those we spoke with say they're providing a safe environment for those who do come in.

"We know we aren't going to exceed last year's but we are so thankful for every person who comes in and buys their Christmas presents or whatever," Ferrell Stein from Christopher's said. 

Next week, Nov. 28 will be Small Business Saturday when shoppers are encouraged to make a special effort to support smaller, locally-owned businesses. One store owner said the push to help smaller businesses is more important than ever.



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