SONOMA (KPIX 5) — Small businesses in Sonoma County are desperately in need of a boost in sales after the devastating wildfires.

Retailers there were hoping the holiday season will draw shoppers in, especially on this Small Business Saturday.

The grill outside Sonoma Cheese Factory was sizzling but sales haven’t been as hot these days for some businesses in the plaza.

Tre Coles works there. “It’s been about 30 percent down,” he said. “Been slow as far as walk-ins, things like that.”

Just next door, Francie Skaates at H Frank which sells furniture and home décor, says they are relying on the support of tourists and locals.

“We needed people to come into town,” says Skaates.

The National Retail Federation says 69 percent of Americans intend to shop at some point during the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday.

“Business is great this weekend,” said Chris Brock of Walt Wines. “Not only have people from the city, but also tourists who may have stayed away during fires.”

Bill Orsi, who last came to the area more than 40 years ago, decided to come back with his wife to spend some money.

“We’re here supporting all the people who survived and giving back to those who didn’t survive,” said Orsi.

Small Business Saturday started back in 2010. It encourages shoppers to shop local during the holiday season.

Last year, more than 112 million people shopped and dined small on this day.


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