Small Business Saturday provides holiday boost to local store owners

GREEVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -- One Greenville business owner is all about supporting her fellow local businesses.

"We rent shelf space, wall space, displays, actually walk in spaces like the one behind me," says Artisans owner, Susan Bass.

A perfect example for small business Saturday, an effort to encourage people to shop locally during the holidays.

"We are so appreciative when people come in and shop with us because now a days so many people are buying online and that's not keeping the money here," Bass explains.

Bass says people like Hannah Sanders rent space in her store to test their products before opening up their own shop.​

"I have a shelf in her store already but she comes and lets me set up and I can basically, it's like free advertisement. I can advertise for myself," says Sanders.

Sanders is the creator of G-Vegas Slimes Ready Mix and is competing in ECU's Pirate Challenge to win $15,000 towards her business.

She says it's very rewarding as a small business owner when people buy her product as opposed to purchasing from a large retailer.

"My mom's friends or people who have bought them are like, 'oh my goodness my kids enjoyed their cups so much,' and I'm like, 'oh my goodness all of this hard work and these 3 o'clock bedtimes are paying off,'" Sanders says.

From Marfa is another small business in Greenville that opened in April of 2019.

Assistant Manager Giavanna Perdue says there's something unique about shopping at local stores as opposed to major department stores.

"I want to be able to go into a store and and them be like, 'oh you like this? Well let me show you this,' and kind of just like building that relationship with them because that's what's going to make me come back more, so that's what we're trying to do here," says Perdue.

She says shopping locally is a chance for personal connections, something major retailers often lack.

"You're not going to get that one-on-one connection. You're not going to get that relationship with the employees there like you will here," Perdue adds.

A lot of these small businesses say their products are distinctive and not always available at department stores.