Mebane, NC -- Black Friday weekend was big business for many small businesses. The governor declared Saturday "Small Business Saturday."
"Everywhere we went, and we shopped pretty much all day, was local, small shops," said B Dupree, who picked up items Monday she saw with her daughters Saturday.
"We had a wonderful amount of people downtown and we felt like it was better than last year," said Judi Hales, owner of Furniture on Fourth in Mebane.
She said business was up about 50 percent from last year.
"I certainly hope it's being encouraged by the traffic coming into Tanger. That's a possibility. Or people just know what wonderful shops we have downtown," she said.
Hales shares her shop space with her daughter's store and her son owns an ice cream shop a couple of doors down.
"As far as monetary value, its more than that for us. We love our community and we enjoy serving them," Hales said.
"You want to support these people," Dupree said about small business owners.
"I think it really drives the economy," said Barbara Guttman, who owns Melville Trading Company, also in downtown.
"We really don't look at it as competition, it makes us a destination," she said.
"It's a nostalgic feeling. It's the kind of thing that you dealt with shop keepers that you knew and shop keepers who lived in the community and were part of a community. I like that," Dupree said.
"I think you probably get a lot more customer service, uniquer type items," Guttman said.
"These are not just people who are working retail, these are people who have their own things here and have their whole livelihood here," Dupree said.
A statement from the state's Department of Commerce said North Carolina had an estimated 734,000 small businesses in 2005. It said businesses with fewer than 50 employees in 85 rural counties created 26,760 new jobs and added $2.3 billion dollars to their payrolls between 1998 and 2002.
WFMY News 2