Valentine's Day gives small businesses a boost

CHICAGO (WLS) -- During the pandemic, some people are supporting local businesses as they find ways to make their loved ones feel special.

"I opted for this instead of doing a 1-800-Flowers or something like that, because I want to make sure the community has the businesses in order to thrive," said Gabriel Zapata, who was shopping at Cornell Florist in Hyde Park.

Valentine's Day is the biggest holiday for florists, and this weekend it's especially important for small business owners like Lindsay Levita, owner of Cornell Florist.

"It has been really nice this week to actually see some of the customers we haven't seen in a long time, even just to talk to them on the phone for them to get their Valentine's orders," she said. "We are really looking forward to interacting with customers again in the neighborhood."

The Bottle and Bottega in Homewood was closed for much of 2020, and while their capacity is far more limited they are hosting socially-distanced painting parties Valentine's weekend.

"The light is at the end of the tunnel, I can see it, and I just need to hang in there and ride out 2021," said co-owner Darcie Loudon.

Their business for paint-at-home kits has been good, with folks trying to be creative and safe.

Some small businesses that might have typically been closed on Sundays will be open this Sunday for any last minute shoppers and extra business Valentine's Day may bring.
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