RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Any other year, the Raleigh Christmas Parade celebration serves as a big money-maker for small businesses; but this year with the celebration parade going virtual, business owners are hoping folks still show their support.
"We would triple our baking. We would have extra staff here in the morning just to handle the crowds," said Sara Fitzpatrick with the Cupcake Shoppe Bakery.
Fitzpatrick and other small business owners are encouraging people to patronize shops for the event, whether that be visiting a downtown Raleigh spot for lunch or picking up treats to-go.
"We are hoping that people will continue to come out to the local businesses that need their support so much, more this year than ever," said Fitzpatrick. "I think specifically our smaller, locally owned businesses have had to pivot and fight a little harder just because we don't have the same resources that some of your big box stores may have, but also those are the businesses that really give the personality and the character to the town that we love."
The true premise behind the celebration is to shine a light on local merchants and inspire people to patronize them during the holiday shopping season.
This year's virtual celebration features more than 75 small business spotlights and performances. Some are even offering discounts in coordination.
Dazzle and Lace is giving shoppers 21 percent off flocking orders if placed by Monday.
Flocking is when someone comes to a home in the middle of the night and floods a yard with festive decorations. The recipient sees the surprise first thing in the morning.
Robin Foster, the owner of Dazzle and Lace, says it's becoming popular during COVID-19.
"It's just a fun way, especially in this season of our lives where people can't go out and about as much, it brings a party to the front yard," said Foster.