Lynn Dudley of Leatherwood, a retired floral designer, was shopping at uptown stores Studio 107 and Pieces early Saturday afternoon.
“If people don’t support local businesses, they’ll go out of business,” she said, bemoaning that one local uptown store where she used to shop no longer is in business.
Saturday was national Small Business Saturday, and Dudley said she promoted it on her Facebook page.
“I don’t go out on Black Friday,” she said. “Big chains are OK. It’s the little guy who needs the help ... .”
Ashley Simpson, owner of Pieces, a women’s clothing boutique, said a few customers had come in because of Small Business Saturday.
Carolyn Beal, coordinator of Studio 107, said the arts studio and shop had “a great day” Friday, with people from out of town visiting local family members and people not wanting to get in the Black Friday congestion at big chain stores. But Studio 107’s business was slow on Saturday, she said.
Buster Robertson, owner of As Is Outlet, a home decor and framing shop, said Black Friday and Small Business Saturday don’t seem to affect his business.
Kim Wheeler, owner of Classy Consignments & Gifts, said she believes Small Business Saturday brought in several “new faces” to her business that day. She said the store was closed on Black Friday because she figured shoppers would go to big stores such as Walmart.
Ann Surratt of Martinsville, who was shopping at Classy Consighments & Gifts, said she prefers to shop uptown and doesn’t like the crowds and hours of Black Friday shopping.
Another customer there, Kathy Whitley of Collinsville, said she likes to spend her dollars with local stores. “No bargain” could entice her to shop in the hustle and bustle of Black Friday, she said. “I’d rather be with family.”
Emily Hughes, owner of Junkbabies, an antique mall and auction store, said business was strong Saturday with both in-store customers and Facebook activity. Usually Saturdays are OK, she said. The store was closed Friday.
John Meadows of Princeton, W.Va., was shopping at Junkbabies. He is in the area visiting in-laws, he said. He went out to shop on Black Friday but didn’t because it was “too hectic, too crowded, too crazy,” he said.
The fact that it was Small Business Saturday was definitely a factor in his shopping uptown Saturday, he said. “Everybody is getting tired of big corporate (America) ... and mom and pop (businesses) suffering.”