Small businesses prepare for a busy holiday weekend

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By: Monica Casey | WCTV Eyewitness News
November 29, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- November 30th marks Small Business Saturday, but multiple local businesses in Tallahassee also saw a rush on Black Friday.

According to the Office of Economic Vitality, there are 537 retail stores and 600 restaurants for you to choose from!

Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are crucial to local businesses, kicking off the holiday season and getting a strong finish on the year.

"I've been up since 7:00 a.m. yesterday morning," said Ashley Thomas, the owner of Sparkle Tallahassee. "We opened at 4:30 when we allowed our VIP guests to come in, but we got here at 2:00 a.m. Today has been crazy, it's been very busy."

Small businesses working long hours, with early mornings and late nights.

"We got here about an hour and a half early," said Midtown Reader manager Darrell Ellis. "Put out poinsettias, and get Christmas lights up, and put out all of our new holiday books. We really wanted that very dramatic overnight, the holidays have arrived and we're so excited!"

The Tallahassee/Leon County Office of Economic Vitality said for every dollar you spend, 65 cents stays in the local economy.

"In the state of Florida, four out of five jobs are created by small businesses," said director Cristina Paredes. "So your participation by shopping and giving local gifts and eating at local establishments really makes a big impact."

Local businesses gave thanks for their customers.

"We live here, we're your neighbor, and we're trying to be your community bookstore!" said Ellis.

"You're supporting a dream, it's not just you know, a means to an end," said Thomas. "This is our dream, this is our passion."

A new locally produced app called "swellcoin" will get you cash back on your purchases at participating locations.

You can find more information about Swellcoin here.

The Office of Economic Vitality also has a video about shopping local; you can view it here.