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Small businesses prepare for what they hope is a busy holiday season

Businesses are preparing for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. Local mom-and-pop shops are getting ready for what they hope will be a busy shopping season.

HOUSTON — The holidays are just around the corner, and many people are already looking to buy the perfect gifts for their loved ones.

Despite the pandemic, experts expect sales to be up this year.

"The National Retail Federation suggest that we may even have over 5 percent growth this holiday season: a long difference from March and April," said Barbara Stewart, University of Houston professor. 

Many of the local mom-and-pop shop owners said they’re ready for customers. They have safety measures in place to help them feel comfortable stepping into their stores. And they’re offering some incentives.

 "We will be offering some discounts and a small gift to the first 15 customers that drop by the store," said Dulce David with The Hive Pop Up Collective

David runs The Hive Pop Up Collective in Rice Village. It’s a boutique that has a little bit of everything from clothes, accessories and little knick knacks. This shop actually has 13 small business owners under the same roof. They just share the space.

"By being together, it cuts the cost," David said. 

According to Gov. Greg Abbott, small businesses like The Hive account for more than 99 percent of all businesses in Texas and employ millions of people throughout the state. That is why many people are hoping shoppers will keep their money local to help them survive this pandemic.

"It helps us pay the rent in here. It helps us support our families and back to the artisans that are making our goods. It's helping those people have production orders and keeping those businesses afloat as well," said Jolie Holmes, who has one of the businesses at The Hive. 

The Hive is a beautiful, curated boutique featuring Houston's