ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County is recognizing Small Business Saturday, a follow-up to Black Friday to highlight its local businesses for the third year in a row.
Small Business Saturday was started by American Express in 2010 to help local business owners following the 2008 financial crisis, and by 2012 it was recognized in all 50 states, according to American Express’ website.
The Richmond County Chamber of Commerce became a Neighborhood Champion in 2015, which means that it provides promotional materials for its member businesses: Merle Norman, Simply Chic, Helms Jewelers, Gifts Four All Seasons, Our Southern Roots, Christie’s, Willow Tree and The Grab.
Seth Allen, membership director for the Chamber, said that even though they only materially support their member businesses, the day is about supporting all local businesses.
Many of the participating businesses are simply carrying over their Black Friday deals to Saturday, but some are doing additional promotions, according to Allen.
Shannon Mabe, the owner of Gifts Four All Seasons, said the Chamber helps promote her store by providing Small Business Saturday-themed shopping bags, pins and rugs, as well as sharing the stores’ special discounts on their website and social media.
Mabe said Small Business Saturday has been a big help in kicking off the holiday shopping season.
“It does better than Black Friday,” Mabe said.
Christie Padgett, owner of Christie’s, said that the focus on local businesses brings in new customers who may be regulars at other locations, adding that that the Chamber’s efforts to bring in new businesses has been good for competition.
“The support of the chamber — that’s invaluable,” Padgett said. “Plus it brings the community together.”
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]