This Halloween, businesses can expect more treats than tricks.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told  CNN over the weekend that trick-or-treaters and other revelers can safely celebrate the October 31 holiday, thanks to a decline in Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations. Outdoor activities are particularly low-risk, especially for children under the age of 12 who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated against the disease.

With a green light from the nation's top infectious disease expert, which should lead to increased foot traffic from revelers, small businesses are poised for a holiday boost.

According to the National Retail Federation, consumer spending on Halloween-related items is supposed to hit an all-time high of $10.1 billion--up over $2 billion from 2020. On average, consumers will spend close to $103 on costumes, candy, decorations, and greeting cards, and those with kids are likely to spend twice the amount of households without children. 

While it may be too late for businesses to stock shelves with seasonal decorations and costumes--especially with current supply chain delays--they can still target customers by highlighting Halloween-related merchandise, passing out candy, and organizing community-wide events that can help bolster local commerce.

Some small businesses are already making major Halloween headway: a Witches Night Out in Fenton, Michigan, increased visits to its restaurants and shops, the local Tri-County Times newspaper reported earlier this month. Salem, Massachusetts, also held its annual Halloween parade last week with a new, Covid-safe route, kicking off a month of celebrations in the tourist destination after its event was canceled last year, the local Patch reported. The holiday should give Main Street business owners a much-needed lift this year--as long as the weather holds, of course.