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Rain doesn't dampen Small Business Saturday

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Kim Winnett looks at a pair of leggings on Saturday while shopping at Alayna's Boutique at Kendall's Hallmark.

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A sustained downpour didn't discourage Twin Counties shoppers on Small Business Saturday, according to local merchants.

From nick-nacks in Nashville to keepsakes in Rocky Mount to jewelry in Tarboro, shoppers found the certain something for that special someone while helping boost the local economy of Nash and Edgecombe Counties.

"I was pleasantly surprised," said Jill Boone, owner of Jody's of Nashville, a large consignment shop on West Washington Street in downtown Nashville.

Before opening for the day Boone was worried the rain might keep folks home, but that notion was dispelled as shoppers poured in all morning — some soaking wet, everyone looking for a deal.

"We've had a wonderful day," Boone said. "Very comparable to other years."

Showers persisted throughout the day in the region. Wind gusts of about 20 mph likely kept shoppers on their toes, according to the National Weather Service in Raleigh.

A few miles east of Tarboro on U.S. 64, shoppers also were flocking to Kendall's Hallmark Shop in Westridge Village on Sunset Avenue in Rocky Mount.

"We've had good traffic," said Debbie Outlaw, the store's manager.

Outlaw, who has been with the store for 18 years, said the event has gotten better for them every year since the store started participating.

Of course, Outlaw puts in the work leading up to the big day with promotions, announced deals and making sure the store always is stocked with merchandise.

The local business community really has stepped up in recent years with more advertising of the event, Outlaw said.

First observed in the U.S. in 2010, Small Business Saturday is meant to serve as a local companion to Black Friday, when big box stores offer door-busting deals, and Cyber Monday, which pushes online deals. Slightly different, the Saturday event encourages holiday shoppers to patronize local businesses.

While the rain may have discouraged a few shoppers, the day was a huge success overall, according to local shop owners.

"It's been great," said Rex Browning, who has owned and operated Rex Jewelers on Main Street for more than six decades.

"Rain always stops somebody," Browning said. "But we've had a lot of people in today."

Small Business Saturday always is worth it, Browning said.

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