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Event promotes shopping local

Posted: November 26, 2013 - 3:27pm

Stan Johnson Jewelers’ extended holiday season hours begin the weekend after Thanksgiving with Small Business Saturday.

“It’s our kickoff for Christmas,” said Claire Hancock, jeweler and office manager of the business on Edgefield Road. “Throughout the year, we are not open on Saturday, but we open on Small Business Saturday and go to Christmas.”

The American Express Co. started the shopping campaign to focus on small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2010, and it was officially recognized by the U.S. Senate in 2011.

The idea behind it is simple – shop small and shop local.

It’s a concept the National Chamber of Commerce supports as well.

“We have a buy-local campaign going on,” said Tammy Shepherd, president and chief executive officer of the Columbia County Chamber of Com-merce. “When people buy locally, jobs are created, especially in small businesses.”

Some entrepreneurs in the North Augusta area are taking another step with Small Business Saturday.

“My sister sells Wildtree products, and she has a friend who sells 31 bags,” said Beverlee Nichols, the owner of Tip, Toes and Taps on Martintown Road.

The studio will be the site of a Small Business Saturday Holiday Bazaar. “We decided to make this into an event.”

About 10 home-based business operators are joining in for the bazaar. Products featured will include Paparazzi, Avon and Pampered Chef. There will be costume jewelry as well as silver jewelry designs featured.

“We are out of room. That’s a wonderful problem to have,” she said.

The bazaar will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Hancock said she’s grateful to have a national event focusing on small businesses and believes people in the area respond positively.

“It’s a more relaxing shopping day than Black Friday,” she said. “We have a lot of families come in. People from out of town come in, and it’s a nice atmosphere.”

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