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Richmond business thankful for 'super loyal customers' amid pandemic

Business owner: 'We're doing the best we can'
Posted at 9:40 PM, Nov 28, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- Shoppers flocked to local stores across Richmond, including Tinker and Company, as part of Small Business Saturday.

"We love Tinker's. We come here frequently especially around Christmas time because they have such great ornaments and gift ideas," Kristy Serendi said. “We want to do our part to make sure that they’re around for as long as possible, so we like to support them by coming out and shopping.”

“We have really super loyal customers that come out and we wrap their presents," Sharon Coleman, the owner of Tinker and Company, said.

Coleman opened Tinker and Company 33 years ago, selling just about everything you could imagine: from Christmas dolls to paintings.

"We carry a lot of interesting things in here, so when you get a gift, you go, 'Where did this come from?' We don’t want to be the norm," Coleman said.

But COVID-19 has made it far from normal for most, forcing Coleman to adjust.

"We actually opened at 8:30," Coleman explained. "Because we had a small group that were uncomfortable being in crowds, so if someone is like that we will open early."

According to American Express, 62 percent of small businesses in the United States reported that they need consumer spending to return to pre-COVID levels by the end of 2020 to stay in business.

While Coleman believes she’s in good shape with support from the community, she and shoppers hope consumers will support other businesses, so everyone can make it out on top.

“I want everything to get straight like everyone else does," Coleman said. "But if nothing else, in Virginia we’re doing the best we can I feel like.”

“My family owns a small business, and the community is built on small businesses, so it’s so important to support them," Serendi added.

Coleman said she is also offering curbside service for those who are not comfortable shopping in person, in addition to extended hours to private shopping after 6 p.m.