Small business owners fear rising COVID cases will lead to more shutdowns

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‘Please just let me stay in business so I don’t go broke,’ business owner DeAnna Allen pleaded.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — On the backside of the brick and glass buildings of The Centro Railyard Apartments, you’ll find a boutique with images of women of every shade lining the walls and a small business owner who is hoping holiday shoppers will find a hidden gem that will keep her entrepreneurial dream shining.

The Brown Sugar Collab curates hand-crafted items like candles, soaps and handbags, all made by women of color, and gives them a prime retail space.

“I wanted to be able to give them a chance to have their products in front of a larger audience,” business owner DeAnna Allen said. “I want to give them a larger platform and to give them some exposure.”

The boutique relies on foot traffic, but these days, with more people working from home, there aren’t as many people walking by.

RELATED: Amazon launches new ways to help small businesses this holiday

“Our sales are inconsistent,” Allen said.

As we move into the holiday season, this small business owner, and all of the artists she elevates, are counting on local support to keep …

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