CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- After Thanksgiving turkey and Black Friday deals, shoppers had one more option to fill their holiday shopping list – by buying from their friends and neighbors on Small Business Saturday.
The third annual event shined a spotlight on “Mom and Pop” businesses around the nation and around Charlotte. Early Saturday morning, the Historic SouthEnd bustled with activity as small businesses opened their doors for a big day.
“It helps us out a lot,” said Harold Jordan, part-owner of the brand-new Blank Canvas clothing boutique. “I wish we could have it once a month.”
Jordan said Small Business Saturday gives his new store the attention it needs to get off the ground and let shoppers know he’s there.
The store’s co-owner Nicole Blackmon said promotions let shoppers know that small businesses like theirs can offer personal service and one-of-a-kind items you won’t find at other stores.
“You can support a chain anywhere in the world, but you can only support local businesses in your own city,” said Blackmon.
According to the Small Business Administration, half of new businesses fail in the first five years – so attention and promotion are important.
Ted Boyd is responsible for a lot of that promotion in the SouthEnd, as Director of Historic SouthEnd for Center City Partners. Boyd said $68 of every $100 spent at a small business stays in the community, as opposed to $43 spent at large chains.
“Small business owners are your neighbors, are your friends, are your family -- people you know and love and want to support,” said Boyd Saturday. “So it means a lot when people come out and show their love with their dollars.”
Juliana Luna is enjoying the promotion of Small Business Saturday. She said her organic and vegan café is thriving after two and a half years next to the Atherton market, and like a lot of SouthEnd businesses, saw heavy traffic Saturday morning.
“It is a special day for us, it is like Mother's Day,” she said. “It is a way to recognize us and to know that a small business can be successful too.”
Amy MacCabe had her busiest day since opening the doors at her Savory Spice Shop – one year ago on Small Business Saturday. The sales from Saturday’s event will make a big difference to her bottom line.
MacCabe said she took a big chance leaving her banking job to start her business in a slow economy, but she hasn’t regretted it. The new customers she draws on Small Business Saturday helps sustain her for the rest of the year.
“We’re definitely still working on it,” said MacCabe, as she filled jars with spiced sugar. “We've been good this year. I always say everything can be better,” but it also could be a whole lot worse.”