Shoppers support local stores on Small Business Saturday

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) —  You have Brown Thursday, Black Friday and now Small Business Saturday, but is all about keeping it local.

American Express urged people to shop at local businesses when crossing off their Christmas lists.

The Cotton Exchange is usually a hot spot in Downtown Wilmington especially when it comes to shopping.

More than 25 businesses are found inside of the old walls. Some have been here for many years, while others only a few days.

“We just opened Wednesday,” Heart of Carolina Owner Anna LaRue said. “Yesterday was our 2nd day and today is number 3.”

Stores had signs promoting Small Business Saturday and shoppers like Beth Livengood filled the buildings on the hunt for holiday presents.

“I’m hoping to get a lot of Christmas shopping done today, but so far we have only found stuff for ourselves,” Livengood said.

Whether the gift is for yourself or whoever, the reason behind this day is to help people like Anna LaRue and Kathleen White, both who own shops downtown.

“This shop local is important to us and of course to all of our neighbors,” LaRue said. “It’s most important to us because you’re supporting yourselves.”

During the 2015 holiday season, the National Retail Federation said one in four holiday shoppers planned to purchase from small or local retailers.

“Small business to me is what a lot of people amid to own one day,” Coastal Paws Owner Kathleen White. “At Coastal Paws, we want to support other small businesses. Almost everything we own in the store is handmade or comes from a local vendor and that’s just important to us to keep small business alive because it’s really hard in this game of big boxes.”

Livengood says she’s glad her money is going to back into the community.

“It gives back to the economy and to the local jobs and businesses and people just like us so you know it’s staying right here at home,” Livengood said.

Last year, American Express says an estimated 95 million people went out to shop local.

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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