Small business owners ready for holiday shoppers - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Small business owners ready for holiday shoppers

The owner of Merle Norman in Albany is preparing for the holiday season. (Source: WALB) The owner of Merle Norman in Albany is preparing for the holiday season. (Source: WALB)
Thousands of small businesses are participating in Small Business Saturday on November 25th. (Source: WALB) Thousands of small businesses are participating in Small Business Saturday on November 25th. (Source: WALB)
The owner at Wild Side running decided to open a small business after working in construction. (Source: WALB) The owner at Wild Side running decided to open a small business after working in construction. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

From those who have been in small business for decades, to those who are newer to the small business community, small business owners are gearing up for what should be a busy weekend. 

"This kind of kicks off our holiday season," said Chris Phillips, the owner of Wildside Running in Albany. 

Phillips has owned the store that sells sneakers and other running gear for almost four years. 

"Everyday is interesting and every day is different," said Katrina Baranko, with a bright smile.

Baranko has been in small business for about 30 years. Currently, she owns Merle Norman, a skincare and women's boutique off Ledo Road. 

Both small business owners agree they have had both ups and downs in the business. 

"We've had good times and bad times, but we're starting to see a trend," explained Phillips. 

Phillips said it was the people at the UGA extension office in downtown Albany, who helped him get on his feet. He opened his store after coming out of a job in construction.

"They helped us kind of hone in on where our market and our target group was," explained Phillips. 

Business owners said the Chamber of Commerce has also been helpful in encouraging people to shop local. 

But it doesn't matter if you are in the small business industry for just months or several years, store owners have one thing in common.

They explained their customers are what keeps them going. 

Merle Norman is just one of several different businesses Baranko has had over the years. She said she's met great people throughout her time in small business. 

"When they come in and they leave happy or they return it's just a good feeling," smiles Baranko.

And it's that good feeling, she and other small business owners hope to walk away with following this holiday season.

Small Business Saturday is November 25th. Businesses all over South Georgia are participating in the event. 

Thomasville and Douglas officials encourage everyone to spend money at local businesses as part of the national American Express Campaign.

Thomasville officials say it's one of the biggest shopping days of the year in downtown.

Most shops will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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