DES MOINES, Iowa – You might not have realized it’s National Small Business Week, but you probably do know a lot of them faced challenges through the pandemic.

The Drake Relays ordered up many customers for Lucky Horse Beer and Burgers on University Avenue. But it wasn’t always like that for the bar and restaurant. Lucky Horse opened in July of 2020, which brought its own set of pandemic challenges.

“It was just hard making sure that people knew we were here,” Daisy Miller, manager at Lucky Horse, said. “But then once people started knowing that we were existing, I guess it was pretty easy just getting people in for the great food and great beer selection.”

“I really enjoy supporting local especially in the Drake neighborhood,” customer Will Clark said. “It’s a neighborhood I believe in and I want to put money into.”

The challenges don’t go away just because the customers are coming back. Staffing and supply chain shortages have tested their luck.

“It’s hard to find good product at a reasonable price which can be difficult,” Miller said, “but I feel like we’ve been able to keep our costs pretty low with that and everything going on with such huge nationwide shortages.”

Down the street at Groovy Goods, the one-stop hippy shop has struggled with inventory.

“A lot of our products are handmade in India, Africa, different countries,” Alex Hoffman, assistant manager at Groovy Goods, said. “ So getting a lot of those products was a little difficult but we managed.”

They managed so well they’re opening up another shop in Pleasant Hill.

“We’re here just trying to spread knowledge and joy,” Hoffman said.

Two completely different businesses with different challenges, but in the end the same long-term solution.

“If you’re spending money in the community you want to keep it at a local place,” Miller said, “just so it’s kicked back in the community better.”

Besides spending money, experts say other ways you can support small businesses is by interacting with them on social media or leaving them a review.