AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – While many people flocked to the big box stores for deals this holiday, others filled small businesses. NewsChannel 6 went to Surrey Center where Small Business Saturday starts in just a few hours.
Perhaps it’s a cozy sweater you want to purchase to keep you warm this winter or some jewelry. Getting it during one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year can be hassle free. Just ask these ladies.
“We don’t want to deal with those crowds,” Leigh Porterfield told NewsChannel 6 while shopping with family.
Thanksgiving time brings the shopping tradition at Surrey Center for this group of women who have been doing it for a long time.
“12 years consistently. She was teeny tiny,” Porterfield said of a relative in The Swank Company. “Her favorite thing was we would go to SoHo across the street here and she would get the little glass soda bottles.”
They meet for coffee and then head to their shopping staples in Surrey Center, places such as Swank, where the customers are high and clothing prices are low.
Swank Salesperson Chaney Schumacher said the store had lots of deals.
“A few of our boyfriend and dreamer sweaters are $20. Our PIKOS are $15. We’ve never done that sale before. Our bath bombs are $4 and right now the whole store is 25% off,” she said.
Cindy Brannen was also shopping with family in Surrey Center.
“I really like to support local businesses. My husband is a businessman and I like to support local and keep the money in the community.”
Shoppers filled several other stores in Surrey Center on Black Friday. Others plan to shop on Small Business Saturday too. While you may find sidewalk sales at the big box stores, you may not find cups of coffee. It’s the little treats that stores use to keep people coming.
Schumacher added, “They know the people that work here. A lot of us are either students or have been and know the parents of kids that we went to school with or just people in the community so they know that they are going to see a friendly face when they come here. It’s smaller. We know what we have. It’s usually really organized.”
Porterfield said she comes for one reason.
Amy Hattaway stood by her side and agreed.
“A lot of times it’s gifts for all of these guys. We come and they tell us what they like and mom and I sneak over to the cash register and we pack them up and put them away until Christmas and hope that they don’t remember.”
After Small Business Saturday there are two other shopping opportunities. Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday.
Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins