TUCSON - Today is nationally recognized as small business Saturday and because of the pandemic, many local businesses have been struggling and are asking that you shop local today.
The MSA Annex is one location that has invited customers to come out for a socially distanced shopping experience.
Despite the restrictions, it was a busy, but safe experience at the annex according to shop owners and customers alike.
Cultivate Tucson, a pop-up event organization aimed at helping small businesses is at the annex through the end of the year, doing what they can to encourage people to shop local.
"Today is going awesome, there's just a lot of people out showing their support for small businesses and specifically for all the different artists and makers and vendors that are represented at Cultivate Tucson," said Alex Tovar, Cultivate Tucson.
With COVID-19 restrictions in place businesses limited the amount of people in their stores, masks are required and sanitizer is available. Even though their has been a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, shop owners say the community support has been great.
"I think it's such a wonderful and strange situation where everyone's come out to support local businesses but they've also been really great at social distancing and keeping everything safe for everybody. But it's been a great turnout, I love to see the support from the Tucson community," said Alan Kohler, Owner & Founder of Arizona Baking Company.
Shoppers say they felt comfortable in the open-air shopping environment and believe it's important to support locally owned stores.
"The local businesses and the local community that you get, that's what gives Tucson its flavor right? The restaurants, the shops, the people, the region and without supporting it how's it going to be able to continue on and thrive?" said Homero Pawlowski, a shopper at the annex.
As a local business owner, Kohler says the support has been incredible and implores the community to continue to buy local.
"Even if it's just one purchase in 100, try to support your local businesses as much as you can," said Kohler.
Cultivate Tucson will be at the annex until the first weekend of January.