Local businesses see big crowds on Small Business Saturday

Saturday, November 30, 2019
News 12 at 11 o'clock

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The shopping frenzy continued on Saturday with crowds lining up at shops all over the area.

But, they weren't shopping big brand-named stores. They were shopping local for Small Business Saturday.

Local businesses say there's been a bigger focus on the shopping day this year.

"I will say comparatively to other events we've had, like our ribbon-cutting, and Arts in the Heart--which is a huge event," said Amanda Bryan, the owner of American Journeyman. "It's already exceeded those already record-breaking days."

American Journeyman, located in downtown Augusta, just opened in September. Bryan is a 16-year military veteran, and her store is all American made.

"You get certain flavors that you can only get in different towns by shopping at those local businesses," Bryan said. "That's where you get the personalities of the people in the community represented in those shops."

Avery Spears-Mahoney with North Augusta Forward says Small Business Saturday is growing on their side of the river too.

This year 30 businesses offered specials.

"I do think that people want to support their neighbors and their community," Spears-Mahoney said. "Supporting a small business is doing that."

The Aiken Downtown Development Association says for every $100 spent in local businesses, $68 stays in town.

"I think the trend of shop local and support local year round is catching on, and it will not only be Small Business Saturday," Spears-Mahoney said.

For business owners on both sides of the river, that's great news. They just hope the crowds stick around.

"It just really matters to have an incredibly successful season," Bryan said. "It's not just about today and this month. It's about the coming months."

These shops are trying to carry this momentum throughout the holiday season. In North Augusta, downtown shops are offering cocoa and cookies in stores after the tree lighting this week.