Small businesses in Wake County's suburbs see boom in business amid pandemic

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Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Small businesses in Wake suburbs see boom in business amid pandemic
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As the pandemic enters its first full year, small businesses in the downtown area of suburbs like Wake Forest and Garner say they are experiencing a boost in support.

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WTVD) -- From the neighborhood bakery to the bookstore, there's reason for celebration along Main Street in downtown Wake Forest. Small businesses are experiencing a boost in support.

"The devastation we've seen in so many bigger cities has not affected us at all," said Wake Forest Chamber of Commerce President Ann Welton.

Locals are choosing to spend their money in-town instead of heading out to nearby cities like Durham or Raleigh.

"It's almost like why bother? Why drive a half-an-hour or 45 minutes when we have a wonderful selection of businesses here," said Welton.

Plant Cakes co-owner Jess Reilly went from baking out of her home to opening a storefront and seeing customers constantly streaming through the door.

"We've been pretty nonstop since we opened," Reilly said. "The world got a lot smaller and support got a lot bigger."

Sue Lucey, the co-owner of Page 158 Books, says her sales have pretty much stayed the same throughout the pandemic.

"It's extremely good because in this economy there is so many small businesses closing. People with one-click button will shop online," said Lucey.

And Wake Forest isn't alone, the Garner Chamber of Commerce said its' Main Street has also been well-supported by the community.

Cities on the other hand are not so lucky, they've seen a string of closures. It leaves the Wake Forest small business thankful for how well they've faired.

"My great-grandfather owned a business during the first pandemic, so I feel it's come full circle," said Lucey.

The Chamber says membership has been rising since the beginning of the year.