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Holiday Shopping Surges Amidst Pandemic Regulations By Maddy Tansley '23

This holiday season, local shopping ran a bit differently than in years past. With the COVID-19 pandemic still spreading around the country, many different rules and regulations were implemented for stores to safely remain open during this time.

The downtown area of Westport was a great place to shop for holiday presents for friends and family. It was also an opportunity to support local businesses that have struggled during the pandemic. Even with the holiday season coming to an end, local businesses still need the continued support from shoppers.

One local business in downtown Westport is Savvy + Grace. They managed to stay in business throughout 2020 and continued to push through the holiday season. The sense of community and trend of local shopping attracts customers to keep coming back to the store.

“When you're talking about a community like Westport that really is a tight-knit community they want to make sure that their local businesses are still here for next year,” Annette Norton, owner of Savvy + Grace said.

In addition to the increased patronage from the community, suppliers also contributed to create a strong sale season for Savvy + Grace.

“I feel very lucky I've had manufacturers call me from all over, like Ugg for example, telling me that they have products they can ship me because stores are closing, people are cancelling orders,” Norton said, “and I feel very blessed that I am in a position to take their merchandise.”

Local business Savvy & Grace flourishes with customers this holiday season despite the necessary restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.

Despite more rules put in place to lower store’s capacities, an increased number of people visited in-person shops this holiday season. Whether it was to get into the holiday spirit or find unique gifts, customers were excited to go shopping and find presents for friends and family.

“I think that Westport is really taking this seriously because we were one of the hotspots and now we are trying to keep our joy of the holiday season alive with shopping, but still being safe,” Kate Hammer ’25 said.

Even with COVID restrictions, the Westport community was still able to come together and support local businesses for the holidays.

Shops in downtown Westport invite shoppers to partake in holiday shopping by putting up decorations and creating a safe environment against COVID.