Owners call Small Business Saturday a success

Shoppers peruse at Lucinda's in Old Town during Small Business Saturday

Anne Milneck, a trained chef, and owner of Red Stick Spice Company said when she opened 5 years ago, she knew she was filling a niche in the community by providing freshly blended spices and teas but she didn't know her sales would skyrocket. We're got 30 percent off pretty much the entire store; jewelry, clothes, shoes, bags,"said Fashion Barn Owner Homer Beaty".

Small businesses all around Chatham County and beyond welcomed shoppers to their own special events to celebrate shopping local.

Although Wright attributes the small business's success to the unique merchandise, she says running the business is still hard. "It's a great thing to have the opportunity to do this", Solorio said.

Small business Saturday helps up-and-coming shops like Lloyd's, and it helps customers find what they're looking for.

According to Small Business Insight Survey, 72 percent of US consumers are aware of Small Business Saturday and participate.

One Hattiesburg store owner said everyone wins when the community supports small business.

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Shop owners from Daytona Beach, DeLand and Flagler Beach said that the national event is not only a boon to their bottom lines but it reminds residents and visitors that a purchase at their stores helps to keep downtown areas vibrant. "So to bring attention to the mom and pop stores and retailers and restauranteurs in our city", Andrea Barefield, Main Street Manager, said. It's a trend she hopes to see continue. "Way back before Walmart, we all supported our communities and were self-sustaining".

The U.S. Small Business Administration said that 46 percent of workers in IL are employed by small businesses.

Even people from overseas see the value in shopping local.

Wood said Small Business Saturday is a great way to promote businesses and get people to shop small.

For many shoppers, Teresa says the in store experience is still critical, "We have people who want to come in and shop and be able to feel and touch what they are buying, and truly know what they are getting".

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