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Pandemic Grinch may actually steal Christmas, but some businesses are still hoping to prevail

Still Amazon Prime Day expects to attract online shoppers

ATLANTA — In just a few hours, online giant Amazon will kick off its popular two-day deal buster - Prime Day - eyeing small businesses with a $100 million gift.

And this comes while a new promotion encourages customers with a buyback program.

"We're really encouraging people to support small businesses," Amazon's Katie Larsen said.

Retailers, meanwhile, are bracing for a ho-hum shopping season. Experts predict consumer spending will be down 40 percent - in stark contrast to past years. Still, some retailers like Best Buy believe the super savings will be just as good as Black Friday.

But they said keeping shoppers and workers safe will be the number one focus.

"We are prioritizing the safety of our customers and employees first," Best Buy CEO Corey Barry said. "That will give people a longer frame of time to find great deals, but shop in the way that they want as customers in the way that feels safe for them."

NBC News reports more than half of shoppers said they plan to spend less this holiday season. 

And that's a sign of the times as the COVID-19 pandemic impacts millions of Americans eyeing Washington for a second wave of stimulus relief.