Triangle shoppers flock to stores on Small Business Saturday

Photo by Kelly Kennedy/CBS North Carolina

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Saturday was a day to support mom and pop shops.

People from around the area flocked to downtown Raleigh for what has become known as Small Business Saturday.

Local business owners say it’s a day that is helping downtown Raleigh become a retail destination.

Pam Blondin owns Deco, a gift shop in downtown Raleigh. She says she has no doubt small business Saturday is their biggest shopping day of the year.

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“When we first moved to this location five years ago we were the only retailer on this corner,” Blondin said. “Now, we have a nice cluster of retail and it’s actually a destination for shopping, which we love.”

American Express created Small Business Saturday on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2010 as a way to help encourage people to support local businesses that boost the economy and help neighborhoods thrive.

“A lot of them do rely on Small Business Saturday to especially kick-start their holiday season,” said Stacey Simeone, marketing director for the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. “We’ve got a lot of momentum here with restaurants, so stores really love a holiday that we’ve kind of created especially for them.”

CBS North Carolina spoke with the manager at Art of Style who said she doubled sales this Black Friday compared to last Black Friday — and she thinks small business Saturday is going to be even better.

“It’s when business go from into the red into being in the black. Actually profiting from those sales,” said Natalie Drennon, creative director for Art of Style.

Blondin says keeping a small business up and running is definitely a challenge, but for her, it’s worth it

“We don’t have the luxury to be able to offer the deep discounts that big box stores or online stores do, so, for us, it’s about the customer experience,” Blondin said. “It’s about the sense of community.”

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