Shopping small is big business
SPRUCE PINE – Small Business Saturday took place this past weekend and shoppers in Mitchell County showed their love for the businesses in the community.
For the third year, activities organized by Spruce Pine Main Street took place throughout the day in downtown Spruce Pine where merchants participated in a “Christmas Open House” and offered specials, sales, discounts and giveaways.
“It was a good turnout,” said Libby Phillips, executive director of Spruce Pine Main Street. “I’m glad to see people kicking off the Christmas season by shopping locally. The merchants were all on board and done their own thing to bring people into their stores.”
Central Park on Locust Street was the hub of Small Business Saturday and hosted Christmas music, two performances by the Appalachian Dance Theatre, a visit from Santa Claus and a reading of Polar Express, to name a few.
Festivities concluded with the “Christmas in the Mountains” Christmas Parade sponsored by the Spruce Pine Kiwanis Club, which had nearly 50 entrants this year.
Appalachian Pets and Supplies owner Chad McDaniel said he experienced an increase in business both Friday and Saturday.
“There’s been a lot of people in here and a lot of them are spending money,” he said.
Not Bob’s Antiques owner Herman Buchanan said he also saw more than average foot traffic on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.
“It’s been pretty good,” he said. “A lot of it has to do with the ‘make-an-offer’ sale I have going on right now.”
Results of a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, or NFIB, show 25 percent of Small Business Saturday shoppers visited clothing and accessories stores in North Carolina. Spruced Boutique owner Julene Roe was happy with the amount of business Saturday at her store on Oak Avenue.
“We are really pleased,” she said. “So many people have told me they stayed in Spruce Pine this weekend just to shop in the downtown stores on Small Business Saturday. We have had a really great turnout.”
American Express and NFIB also conducted the 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, which found 108 million people shopped locally this year on Small Business Saturday. The survey concludes people who shop locally cited better customer service, convenience and a better selection of products as reasons for doing so.