Aiken hopes Small Business Saturday can bring back mom and pop stores

small business saturday

AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF)- Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are completely different, despite having the same concept and being just a one day apart.

Black Friday is specifically targeted towards the bigger box stores, and is known for having extremely long lines for deals people don’t want to miss out on.

On the other hand, when it comes to Small Business Saturday people can sleep easily knowing that locally owned retailers have great deals. It’s also an opportunity for local business owners to introduce themselves to the community on this day.

American Express created Small Business Saturday a year after being devised in 2009, and has since turned into a national event.

Mary O’hare, owner of M.B. Jewelry on Laurens Street in Aiken, says small stores are closing around the country. She has been participating in Small Business Saturday since 2008 and says since then the shopping trends have changed.

“A lot of the community is starting to realize to support your local small businesses instead of your big box stores. It’s hard to run a small business, everybody knows that and this is our busiest time of the year and to get people who come in purposely to support us and let us know that they appreciate us being here makes you feel great,” O’hare said.

The Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce promotes Small Business Saturday, in hope that residents get out to support, locally owned businesses.

In most cases, the owners of the business might be a person you pass on the street.

With the holiday season just around the corner, Sallye Rich, co-owner of ‘3 Monkeys’ Boutique, says Saturday is one of her absolute best days of the year, because people come in with the intent of supporting small businesses.

Rich’s store is known for having unique gifts you can buy for your loved ones.

“It’s hard to run a small business, everybody knows that and this is our busiest time of the year and to get people who come in purposely to support us and let us know that they appreciate us being here makes you feel great,” Rich said.

More than 23 million small businesses exist in the United States.

Last year, Small Business Saturday sales exceeded more than $16.2 billion.

About 95 million shoppers and 1.3 million retailers participated in the annual event.

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