SPRUCE PINE – Shoppers braved cold, rainy conditions Saturday, Nov. 30, to enjoy Small Business Saturday festivities in downtown Spruce Pine.
The day was dedicated to supporting local merchants as visitors were encouraged to shop local for holiday gifts and other goods.
Several downtown merchants had special sales and promotions while others, such as antique emporium Treasures in the Pines, offered free refreshments.
Treasures in the Pines co-owners Cheryl Buchanan and Karen Bomar said they saw consistent foot traffic on Lower Street throughout the day. As a result, plenty of shoppers browsed their wares and enjoyed free apple cider, cookies and popcorn.
Bomar said participating in Small Business Saturday is critical for a business’ exposure to the community.
“It’s fun to be a part of it,” Bomar said. “It’s very nice. For a lot of people, it’s their first time in.”
Buchanan said while some shoppers came in from out of town, Mitchell County residents showed strong support for the local businesses.
“There have been some tourists,” she said. “But, it’s been a lot of locals.”
Mitchell County Economic Development Commission Director Mickey Duvall said downtown Spruce Pine had become a diverse entrepreneurial area, adding that having a day dedicated to showing off that diversity is special.
“When I came on board, the goal was to make Mitchell County a diverse economy,” Duvall said. “I think we’re reaching that goal. You’ve got people going into business in just about every available building you can possibly find.”
Duvall dubbed Small Business Saturday in Mitchell County a complete success, adding that such days are healthy for the local economy.
“I thought it was a good day,” he said. “I feel honored to be a part of anything that goes on here. We have a lot of people pulling together and that’s what it takes – everyone pulling the same wagon.”
In addition to the business promotions, Spruce Pine Main Street sponsored several holiday-themed events, including an ugly sweater contest, an ornament station for children, an appearance by Santa, a storytime segment and the annual lighting of the Christmas tree in Central Park. The festivities ended with the annual Kiwanis Club of Spruce Pine Christmas Parade.