MADISON (WKOW) -- For many Madison-area businesses, this year's Small Business Saturday was more important than ever.
"It has been a tough year, so it is very important that we have the opportunity today to invite in the neighborhood, the community to share with them what we're doing," Ann Culligan at Infusion Chocolates on Monroe Street said.
She said if not for the raised awareness that Small Business Saturday and other efforts brought throughout the pandemic, the store would be a lonelier place, making a tough year that much harder.
"Having the Madison community here to support [us] has been of the utmost [importance]," she said fighting back tears. "It's really helped us, to keep our spirits up during the tough times and helped us kind of navigate this new normal that we're all faced with."
Down the street at Zip-Dang, owner Natalie Bass said business has been down 30 percent of what they were expecting this year, because of the pandemic.
It is not that the one day will fix all their issues, but the lasting awareness.
"The minute I woke up today, people were tagging us and talking about us and I was just overwhelmed by how many people were aware, everybody has been promoting it more, it's not just the businesses, its everybody," Bass said.
Business owners on Monroe Street say while times have been tough, customers have really stepped up to help support them.
Some customers tell 27 News they understand what's at stake.
"I mean, it's these people's livelihoods and they're missing out on a lot of business opportunities right now because of everything," Olivia Ravenscroft, a shopper Saturday, said. "I think it's really important to support actual people rather than big corporations."