Camden Street in South End was packed shoulder to shoulder for Small Business Saturday. The community came out to support local businesses like Divine Taste Cooking.
Sharon Scarborough makes high-quality entrées that are all locally sourced.
“We have a variety that’s undeniably divine," she said.
Whether it's clothes or food, a small business owner always has a story to tell. For Scarborough, a life-changing event pivoted her into a new direction.
“I did not plan any of this, it called me," Scarborough said. "I was on my way to law school and I got into an accident and broke both my legs and I had to learn to walk again.”
That changed the trajectory of Scarborough’s life. It caused her to reevaluate everything, and she found that nothing was more important than community and good-tasting food.
You can take more than her word for it.
Falen Rodgers stopped by Scarborough's tent and tried some of her samples.
“It was very flavorful, I mean she explained that one was a curry dish, I couldn’t even tell that it was a foreign dish," Rodgers said. "It was really really great and very flavorful. Definitely will be purchasing with them again."
Gaining repeat customers is what Small Business Saturday is all about. The Small Business Administration estimates nationwide consumers will spend at least $19 billion.
You can also find a new place to shop and a new family to support like LilBelle Boutique located on the corner lot in the shopping alley on Camden Street.
Lilly Sandford owns and operates the store. Her mother, Kathy Sandford, who came from Florida, is helping her keep everything in order for their Small Business Saturday sale.
Lily Sandford watched her own mom operate a successful business.
“I’m young, I’m 24 years old, and I own my own business," Lily said. "I went to Davidson. I just love Charlotte, it’s growing like crazy everyone has been so supportive today throughout the year and years to come."
When you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy. If you spend the same are a large business, only about $43 stays in the local economy.
This year people also have a chance to shop at small businesses that operate solely online. Brandy Boulbin and her daughter Brennah run the Gathering Picnic Company a luxury picnic service in Charlotte.
“We have four children, two are older and out of the house, but we still have two at home," Boulbin said. "And you know when you are supporting us it’s not just. It’s not just a somebody—a worker. You’re supporting our entire family.”
You can always show support to small businesses all year. The Small Business Administration said there are 28.8 million small businesses in the country. In North Carolina, small businesses employ about 1.7 million people.