By Matt Petrillo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This was an unusual Black Friday with some storefronts forced to close due to the pandemic. Those who have survived are hoping you shop local and show off in a way to say you were proud to support that Philly business.

Hundreds of stores across the city are giving away these “I Shopped Philly” stickers as a way to attract buyers to small businesses. There are other big changes this year too.

The pandemic has made the normal big shopping crowds that are the norm on Black Friday a fashion faux pas, including inside the Fashion District and elsewhere.

“Downtown is really, really quiet this year,” Marilyn Rodriguez, of North Philadelphia, said. “It’s never been this quiet.”

Still, Vickie Brown, of South Philadelphia, says as long as she has her face mask on, she’s not letting the pandemic stop her from grabbing deep discounts.

“I’m out here having a ball, finding all the sales,” Brown said. “I’m having a ball.”

On top of wearing a face covering, there’s another hot accessory Philadelphia small businesses are hoping people wear: a sticker that says “I Shopped Philly.”

“They’re pretty cool. It’s always nice to get something to show you that you support a small business,” Johnathan Troup, of Yeadon, said.

More than 400 small businesses in Philadelphia, including Unique Photo in Old City, are giving away the stickers to send to friendly shoppers.

“It’s definitely important to shop local, it’s almost like having a badge of honor when they’re wearing that little sticker,” Unique Photo employee Chris Fascenelli said. “So, we like seeing that around.”

There’s also something new this holiday season in Northern Liberties. More than a dozen businesses from across the city are renting space from empty storefronts over the next two weekends on the neighborhood’s busy North 2nd Street.

Officials are calling it the Northern Liberties Holiday Popup.

“We have someone who’s selling ornaments, someone doing jewelry, we have Christmas trees, we have some imported foods,” Kristine Kennedy, executive director of the Northern Liberties Business Improvement District, said. “There’s a wide variety of things.”

In Manayunk, many stores are preparing for Small Business Saturday. If you prefer to shop virtually, most are allowing customers to shop by Zoom or FaceTime.


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