Small Business Saturday celebrated greatest element of our community

Published 12:13 pm Friday, December 1, 2017

To the Editor:

Small Business Saturday in Franklin and Southampton County celebrated and highlighted quite arguably the greatest element of a small community: the local support of our proud businesses. This year, 26 businesses — spanning from Franklin, Courtland, Ivor, Boykins, Sedley to Capron — were chockfull of holiday shoppers committed to investing in our local economy.

According to an analysis completed by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, small businesses across the nation saw 108 million shoppers spend $12.9 billion on Nov. 25. Over 2 million small businesses engaged in marketing materials for the special event, spearheaded by 7,200 ‘neighborhood champions.’ These community ‘sponsors’ led the charge in distributing marketing material to community businesses and activating social media engagement. A state-by-state breakout showed the most popular small businesses visited on the day were restaurants, bars and pubs (41 percent), followed by clothing and accessories stores (24 percent), food stores (23 percent) and coffee shops (22 percent).

The Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. office, a neighborhood sponsor for the event, provided a ‘Welcome Station’ for shoppers on the corner of Second Avenue and Main Street. The table was garnished with doughnut holes, coffee and hot chocolate for shoppers to munch on as they perused through the Main Street shops. In hearing feedback from participating businesses, we are pleased to report this year’s event was well attended and tremendously successful.

Special thanks to our additional community sponsors for a wonderfully effective Saturday: Franklin Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce, Real Country 101.7, and The Tidewater News.

Amanda Jarratt