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Folks shop local in Roanoke on Small Business Saturday

Published: Nov. 28, 2020 at 4:48 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Saturday, November 28, was Small Business Saturday. After a busy day of Black Friday shopping, folks spent the day shopping local. Store owners hoped the day would give them the boost they needed after a difficult year. They encouraged shoppers with deals and discounts.

The smell of Kettle Corn filled the air and live music set a cheery tone for shoppers in downtown Roanoke.

“I’m here because I’m helping the local shops in our community, and I just thought it would be a good day because it’s so beautiful out,” shopper Donna Bryant said.

Bryant, from Vinton, felt there really was no reason not to go out and buy local products.

“Why not? It’s better than going to the mall and being, you know, everybody is crammed in the mall, so this is so pretty, and I just wanted to be out here and help our locals,” she said.

Like The Gift Niche co-owner Laura Duckworth.

“It will start our season with sales, and it’s very important from here until December the 24th to sell, sell, sell, so we can pay, pay, pay in January,” Duckworth said.

She said it hasn’t been easy running a small business during the pandemic, so this shop local day is especially important to have this year.

“For the first time in 38 years we had to be closed, and we were closed for three months, and it was zero income, and as we opened, things were slow, but it’s gradually building back up, but we are scared that the winter months will be bleak,” Duckworth said.

The owner of Shades of Colors, Pauline Wood, said she also greatly appreciates this day that is dedicated to supporting small stores like her own.

“We don’t have as much people through the week due to the fact that people are mostly working at home due to COVID-19, as you very well know, so today is most definitely delightful,” Wood said.

To help make sure people still feel safe while shopping, Wood has set up an outdoor table with her products.

“We are outside, we still are practicing social distancing, and we’re wearing our masks,” Wood said.

Store owners say they hope folks will continue to support them in the months ahead, not just Saturday.

The Gift Niche is even extending its store hours to include Friday nights and Sundays to help encourage more local shopping.

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