Small Business Saturday is a lifeline for Triangle shops and entrepreneurs

27November 2021

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) — Nestled in the heart of downtown Durham is one of the Bull City’s best kept secrets: Indio, boutique gift shop.

“Coming to Indio is definitely about the experience,” said owner Wendy Sease. “A lot of people come in looking for gifts and end up buying for themselves.”

Sease said Small Business Saturday is big business, especially for Brightleaf Square’s retail district, where many storefronts are vacant.

RELATED: Small businesses push local shopping during supply-chain crunch

Businesses like Indio’s who remain open while waiting for new developers to revitalize the property, said Small Business Saturday is critical to supporting their team.

“The money that is spent here is spent with local artists, spent with smaller designers, people who make their goods in the US,” said Cease. “Sales have definitely been good thus far.”
Launched in 2010, Small Business Saturday generates millions.

The National Retail Federation estimates 58 million shoppers will hit their respective cities and towns Saturday. Of those surveyed, 66% plan to shop this holiday weekend, an estimated 158 million people, a slight increase from last year but still below the approximate 165 million who shopped in 2019.

Saturday’s Buy Black Market exclusively featuring Black-owned businesses drew crowds at the state fairgrounds in Raleigh.

RELATED: Special holiday shopping parking spaces in downtown Raleigh being tested by some small businesses
Back in Durham, Bill and Grey Watson from Virginia brought their son to Brightleaf Square to sightsee and shop.

“It’s nice to come and do these things versus the big box stores where everything is the same,” Grey Watson said.

“Or sit at home and buy everything on the internet. You don’t see any people. You don’t see decorations,” Bill Watson added.

“I think we satisfy that really well. I think we meet all the senses,” Sease said. “There’s beautiful things. There’s things you can touch. It smells beautiful in the store. I think people are really yearning for that connection with the owner, the staff, and the products after the year and a half, two years we have had.”

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