If you did most of your holiday shopping online this year, you're part of the norm. The ability to send goods to consumers is a boon for small business this difficult holiday season, but it's been a stumbling point for some larger retailers, a sector where Columbus is strong.

In this month’s issue, freelance writer Tim Feran brings us solid analysis of the region’s publicly traded retail behemoths and the woes and triumphs of 2020. With online shopping dominating the scene while people stay home to stay safe, some companies have not been able to keep up, while others have done better. A standout performance comes from outlet discounter Big Lots, whose vibrant stores full of bargains have proven irresistible to shoppers during the pandemic.

And don’t miss this month’s profile. Freelance writer Laura Newpoff spins a delightful story about another person who’s demonstrated she can hold her own in crazy times. Jennifer Williams, who owns Weiland’s Market in Clintonville with her husband Scott Bowman, is a grocer’s daughter who took her father’s legacy to the next level. Weiland’s is a neighborhood favorite—and some even travel from farther afield to visit. Williams and her staff made the most of a challenging 2020 with COVID-19 and the restrictions put in place to slow the spread of the virus, even as demand for groceries soared. She and her husband worked untold hours of overtime keeping the store stocked and clean. And she absolutely will ask you to leave her store if you walk in without a proper face covering.   

And there's more:

Increase CDC director Deonna Barnett's new business development organization, Aventi, is flourishing.  Ric Dillon just couldn't stay away from growing clients' wealth, to their delight. pH Matter is taking fuel cells to the next level. Hexion's CEO is back from COVID-19 leave, and the company is doing fine. Check out M/I Homes' new Easton headquarters.