Shoppers take advantage of local sales

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Many shoppers flocked to the mall for Black Friday, but others are supporting the local economy by shopping what is called, "Small Business Saturday".

Carytown has been buzzing most of the day with people checking out independent, locally-owned shops.

Money is still tight for a lot of businesses in this economy, so many stores in the area hope you can help them out and shop locally.

"They have really good sales on today," said shopper Kendall Burke.  "(I) might as well give back to them."

K McCarthy just opened up a second location for her store Phoenix three weeks ago. The official holiday shopping season is only two days old but she says the next few weeks are the "make it or break it" time of year.

"Absolutely critical," McCarthy said.  "(It's) critical this time of year to pay for the building, pay for improvements and just make me feel good about opening the story. I mean this is a big undertaking for me."

So far so good. She says she's happy to see a steady stream of people enjoying the nice weather, checking out shops in Carytown.

"The last couple months it's been like a ghost town," she said.  "Carytown has been like a ghost town. We were like, 'where is everybody?' Today and yesterday it was like, wow."

K says nearly three quarters of every dollar you spend buying a pair of shoes at her store goes right back into the community.

"People are trying to be supportive of their local stores, especially during hard times, instead of spending money outside the community," McCarthy said.

Carytown has become a destination spot in Richmond. Some hope that locally purchased sweater will keep Carytown going.

"There are so many shops that have been here for such a long time," Burke said.  "That's kind of branded the downtown area so it's nice to see them stay."

American Express launched the first "Small Business Saturday" last year to encourage shoppers to buy locally.

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