Saturday’s Local Love wrapped up a November to Remember.
November to Remember was a plan developed by Downtown Frankfort Inc., along with the Frankfort Tourist Commission, the Downtown Frankfort Restaurant and Bar Association, the Downtown Merchants Group and the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce to bring the local community and tourists to downtown Frankfort.
On Saturday, locally owned businesses and restaurants in downtown Frankfort celebrated Local Love as a way for people to support local merchants.
“It’s been a really good day for us,” said Ann Wingrove, owner of Completely Kentucky on Broadway. “We’ve had a lot of people come in, and we’re very happy about that.”
COVID-19 has made this a tough year for small businesses.
“It’s been a huge challenge all year,” Wingrove said. “A lot of people think because we’re open everything is back to normal, but it’s not.”
Customers are required to wear masks and wear them over their noses, and they’re asked to use hand sanitizer provided by the store when they enter the building.
In addition to shopping in person, Completely Kentucky offers virtual shopping, where an employee walks around the store with an iPad to show customers what’s on the shelves, and there is private shopping by appointment available outside of the business’ normal hours, which are currently 11 a.m.-6 p.m. seven days a week. In December the hours change to 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
At the Old Capitol Antique Mall on Broadway, owner Becky Bolton was welcoming shoppers from out of town.
“I’ve had people from Ohio, Virginia,” she said. “Yesterday I had more locals, a lot of people and families.”
After a slow start Saturday, business started to pick up mid-afternoon.
“We’re hanging in there,” said Bolton, who’s owned the antique mall for 25 years.
Danetta Bailey, owner of Glitterati Treasures on St. Clair Mall, was pleased with the turnout Saturday.
“It’s been steady,” she said. “We opened early today, and we had people in here before we normally open. It’s been constant all day.”
Glitterati started as an Internet business before the store opened two years ago.
“I think it helps we carry things people collect,” said Bailey, whose store features jewelry, fashion and gifts. “We sell quite a bit of stuff out of state.”
Restaurants were open Saturday for carryout, and with the sunny weather, some offered outdoor seating. Restaurants are currently closed to in-person dining through Dec. 13 because of COVID-19 restrictions.
“It’s been very, very slow,” said Jacqueline Gutierrez, a server at Mi Fiesta on St. Clair Mall. “We have three tables outside available. People want to sit inside, but they’re not allowed to.”
The challenges with the businesses affect more than the shops themselves. Completely Kentucky, which has been open for 30 years, sells the work of Kentucky artists.
“I’m concerned for our artists,” Wingrove said. “They’ve had a horrible year. All their shows were canceled.
“When we placed orders for Christmas, not knowing what it would be like, several said it was the first order they had all year. That breaks your heart.”
In a front window at the Old Capitol Antique Mall, Bolton has a display that features blue poinsettias. She’s named the display “Blue Christmas.”
“It’s a blue Christmas this year,” she said. “Elvis was right.”