Local downtown shops thrive on Small Business Saturday

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Shoppers were on the Downtown Mall on Saturday to ring in the holiday season with local gifts during this year's Small Business Saturday.

Pam and Lee Marraccini, the owners of Angelo Jewelry on the Downtown Mall, said this Thanksgiving weekend has been steady with business.

Pam said their loyal group of customers keeps their local business thriving.

"We have a lot of loyalty. We have a lot of local people that are committed to coming back over and over again for gifts and for themselves," said Marraccini. "We have felt pretty lucky that we have had such a good group of people who follow us."

Angelo Jewelry sells handcrafted jewelry from different artists, including Lee, who credits their in-person service for helping shoppers have an experience they won't get online.

"With all the online businesses taking away so much business from everyone, the advantage we have is you can feel it, touch it, see it, meet with someone and hear the story," Lee said.

Ellen Joy, the owner of Alakazam Toys and Gifts, said they had a lot more people shop in their store this weekend than they had anticipated.

"I wasn't expecting yesterday, Black Friday, to be as busy as it was," Joy said. "There was a huge showing. We just had a lot of people out supporting."

These business owners also hope shoppers can look beyond Small Business Saturday to continue supporting their stores and the community.

"One of the important things to remember about shopping locally is how much money is actually going back into the community," Joy said. "We employ people and we keep people employed."

"I think it's important to remember to shop local and to support the people that are your neighbors rather than all the big corporations all the time," Pam said. "Obviously, you can't get everything from local, but as much as you can is the best commitment you can make to your own community."

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