Local shops enjoy boost on Small Business Saturday
DURHAM, Nov 24, 2012 (Menafn - The Herald-Sun - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Katherine Johnson thought she might have to special-order one of the books she wanted.
But she found all three in The Regulator on Ninth Street during Small Business Saturday. A day after Americans swarmed shopping malls and big-name department stores for Black Friday, it was time for customers like Johnson to show their support for locally owned and operated retailers.
Johnson, a lifelong resident of Durham, has shopped and attended readings at The Regulator since it opened.
"The economy works better when people are supporting local businesses," she said. "We can't sustain an economy entirely driven by large impersonal conglomerates."
Farther up Ninth Street, David Loschiavo enjoyed brisk business at Durham Cycles.
"We have a lot of very enthusiastic shoppers today," said Loschiavo, the shop's owner. "We have people looking for Christmas gifts and everyday bicycle needs."
The shop, still in its first year, already gets a lot of local support, he said.
"We get that all the time in Durham, anyway," he said. "People are into supporting local businesses whenever they can. They're pretty enthusiastic all the time, but maybe they're a little more enthusiastic this week."
Helmets and bicycle lights appear most in demand lately, Loschiavo said. That may owe a lot to the fact that we fell back an hour and now people get home after work when it's dark and still want to ride their bikes, he said.
Meanwhile, at The Play House, a toy store run by Donna Frederick for about 30 years, business is steady.
"There's no big rush, but it's good," she said.
It's important to shop locally, Frederick said, "to keep the community dollars in the community, number one, and to keep brick and mortar stores open."
Closer to downtown Durham, Smitten Boutique on Main Street reported plenty of customers on Saturday.
"We have a fairly dedicated customer base to begin with and we really appreciate that these folks shop local year round," said Nancy McKaig, who owns Smitten and a sister store called Step. "We try to stress the importance of doing it every day and not only for the obvious economic reasons.
"Local businesses define the flair and flavor of every town. While certainly malls serve a purpose, it's the small, independent business owners that represent the communities in which they work."
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