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Small Business Saturday gives mom-and-pop stores equal opportunity during holidays

Downtown businesses count on boost from holiday shoppers


Shoppers are encouraged to shop small on Saturday.

That’s Small Business Saturday, the day after the traditional Black Friday and two days before Cyber Monday.

This year, more than 30 small, locally owned businesses are operating under the wings of Fayetteville’s Downtown Alliance to promote patronizing homegrown businesses.

Robin Matthews, owner and operator of A Bit of Carolina on Hay Street, is serving as promotions chair for the Downtown Alliance. This will mark the eighth Small Business Saturday since she opened her store 7½ years ago.

Matthews, 53, said foot traffic “definitely” increases on the Saturday after Thanksgiving Day each year.

“We have a lot of customers who come out and show support for the holiday season,” she said.

As an incentive for shoppers to “shop small,” some participating businesses and restaurants offer specials, treats and gifts with a purchase in hopes of boosting business.

At A Bit of Carolina, Matthews said, “We’re doing food tastings, local cookies and a gift with a purchase."

"They should come down,” she said of holiday shoppers. “Stores offer personalized services, and we all live in the community.

“It is huge,” Matthews said of the day.

Many business owners and store managers can feel like their work and dreams of success are drowned out by the big-box companies in the retail world. But it’s the little guys who are the backbone of the nation’s workforce.

“It’s a pretty lucrative weekend, especially for downtown foot traffic,” said Nik Badolato, the 33-year-old co-owner of Garnet Skull with his wife, Cheyenne.

“I think it’s very important to reach out and let everybody know that you’re willing to help out, as well,” Badolato said. “Reaching out for small businesses, you’re feeding the families running the businesses.”

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Saturday will mark the second Small Business Saturday for Minxdiva’s Essentials on Hay Street. Owner Ebony McAllister, 39, previously ran her store from upstairs but is now doing business in a first-floor storefront.

That, she believes, will only benefit her this time around.

“More foot traffic,” she said.

“This was a good decision for me,” she said of choosing her Hay Street location. “It was always a dream of mine to be on Hay Street. I have no complaints.”

McAllister said she prefers to spend her money with the merchants who are close to her in the downtown community.

“The importance of it is brand exposure,” she said. “It’s pouring back into the community and helping the community grow.”

Tamara Swallow, 43, is the manager of Cursive on Franklin Street. Previously, the store was called White Trash and Colorful Accessories.

She has run the shop at the same site since 2005.

“We get a lot (of business) on Small Business Saturday,” Swallow said. “Hopefully, we’ll double or triple our business. Absolutely, it’s a day we look forward to. But we celebrate that all year long — small business.”

James Throssel, 26, is the manager of Cameo Art House Theatre. He said the movie house typically sees a slight uptick in business as shoppers turn out for Small Business Saturday.

“Small business is what brings the community together,” Throssel said. “The small businesses do a good job of bringing business downtown.” 

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com 

Fayetteville, downtown, shopping, holidays, business