By Marlee Ginter

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Small businesses are banking on your big bucks this weekend, especially after taking a brutal hit during the pandemic.  Amatula Jacobs doesn’t just sell a product, she sells her dream.  Every item is her work of art. But when the pandemic hit, her dream nearly became a nightmare.

“We made lemonade out of the lemons, literally,” said Jacobs.  “We do a lot of traveling. It was really hard because all of our events that we had planned for, were canceled.”

That’s why small businesses are once again pulling out all the stops.  They’re posting sale signs, dropping prices, and some local communities, including Elk Grove, have started selling online e-gift cards to multiple local shops

“We have to survive.  We just have to.  We’ve been through the wringer the last two years, it’s hard to believe,” said Old Gold employee Sheila Burford.

Maryssa Shulz shops locally because she wants to know where her money is going and also hopes to keep her favorite small businesses up and running.

“It’s devastating because I know that those people have families and that’s their passion and if they go out of business, they don’t have the means to make money to support their family and friends,” said Shulz. “You know who the money’s going to and you know where your products are coming from.”

“We all need to contribute we need to support the small businesses, especially during this time,” said shopper Cristina Cooks.

“You can go to the big stores, that’s great, they’ll always be around.  But we provide an experience,” said Burford.

Small business owners like Amatula are hoping everyone will shop local this holiday season.  Her shop is one of several local black-owned businesses setting up in Florin Square for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

“You help small businesses to be able to manage themselves and to earn a living,” said Amatula.