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CSRA shoppers hit the stores to support small businesses

Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 10:17 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - While many headed out to shop at big-box stores Friday, Saturday was the national push to get people out shopping local for the holidays.

Here at home there was a “Small Business Saturday Crawl” hosted downtown. Filled with leftovers from Thanksgiving, shoppers scurried down Broad Street to get their hands on holiday gifts.

The event downtown was meant to give your mom and pop an opportunity to buy gifts from mom-and-pop stores.

“You see [the store owners], you’re recognizing their face. It’s just so much of a more personal experience. So, I think that’s part of the charm of shopping small— getting to know the people who run these businesses,” said Jessica Netzler, a small business shopper.

She was one of the many that headed out to the “Small Business Saturday Crawl.” The amount of people out shopping was a testament to the CSRA’s eagerness to support local biz. Over at Augusta and Company, free tote bags were handed out to the first 200 shoppers. They were all gone within an hour.

Meanwhile, Freshwater Design Co. was one of the participating stores in the crawl, with this being their first holiday season in their store front.

“We are actually one of the businesses that kind of blossomed during COVID,” said Danielle Harmadi, co-owner of Freshwater Design Co. “October of last year is when we hired our first employees, and by March of this year-- or February of this year-- we had to move into this space.”

The owners, who largely focus on distributing their products via wholesale networks, say they were happy to see plenty of people in their storefront.

“It exceeded [expectations]. We’ve had a line since 10 a.m., and that’s so cool. The beeping hasn’t stopped at the register,” said Harmadi.

Away from downtown, a different shop small event was underway. Off Martin Luther King Boulevard, the community came together to support small businesses who had set up a market outside.

A local business recently purchased the lot located at 2301 Milledgeville Road. They’re hoping to set up a permanent marketplace for small vendors and businesses to set up.

One organizer we spoke to emphasized that when you shop local, you help more than just your community. You help out the families that own that local business.

“We don’t have anything here, especially in this area. And as a person in this area, we need to have businesses, we need to see our small businesses,” said Chantel Morgan, owner of new MLK Jr. Outdoor Marketplace. “We need our communities to be better. So why not bring it here? Why not have a Christmas tree lighting? Why not?”

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