Bellevue shops, restaurants expect success on Small Business Saturday despite pandemic

Posted at 9:16 PM, Nov 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-28 12:07:05-05

BELLEVUE, Ky. — Small businesses in Northern Kentucky are bracing for what they hope will be a big sales weekend during the pandemic.

With the biggest shopping weekend of the year for local spots, innovative Bellevue business owners, including Nomad co-owner Tanner Ziese, said they need the community’s support now more than ever.

“It's kind of our last hoorah to coast through the winter time until next spring, when it starts to warm up again,” he said. “It's a big deal."

Tanner and his wife, Kelti, live in Bellevue and also own Coda Co., a retail shop specializing in home goods and decor. They opened Coda four years ago, and Nomad is their latest business venture launched in September.

They know every dollar spent at their shop and restaurant stays local.

"Anytime we make a sale as a small business, everyone involved, the owners all the way down to who is working the counter, we all do a little dance inside. Any sale, big or small -- it's a celebration,” Ziese said.

Mayor Charlie Cleves said Bellevue boasts a bevy of independently-owned businesses that offer something different than the stock at big-box stores.

"That's what we're here for. We're here to provide something unique, that you can't necessarily find on Amazon," he said.

He said this year has proven the need for local mom and pop shops to adapt and innovate, which is why 32 Bellevue businesses have chipped in with a $25 item up for raffle. All entries are enrolled in another raffle for a $1,200 prize from Cleves and Lonnemann Jewelers. You can find more information and sign up here.

Another example of that innovation came after Joe's Crab Shack moved out in March. With the seafood restaurant gone, the city got the building and all of the contents inside.

"I went and got my truck and put tables in there," Cleves said. "Took them up and down dispensing them."

Now, along Fairfield Avenue, you'll find tables from the former restaurant helping out other businesses with outdoor seating. Cleves said he doesn't believe new pandemic limits on the number of customers inside businesses will greatly affect sales.

"People are here to help out and buy stuff from the small businesses. They're willing to do whatever it takes,” he said.

These business owners know it'll take more than one successful weekend of shopping small to keep them moving ahead toward next year.

"Hopefully 2021, we'll open up and it'll look a little different," said Ziese. "We'll take it in stride."

For more information, and a list of Bellevue businesses participating in Small Business Saturday, click here.