• 68°

Rain soaks Small Business Saturday

Rain and cold temperatures dampened Small Business Saturday in downtown Albemarle.

“We didn’t have as much turnout as past years. I think the weather kept people away,” said Joy Almond, Main Street manager and director of Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation.

Promoted as a shopping holiday for the Saturday after Thanksgiving, one of the busiest shopping periods of the year, Small Business Saturday focuses on small, local businesses located in traditional brick and mortar buildings.

Black Friday fared better for merchants with milder weather. Retailers like The Bargain Store and Vac & Dash appeared to reap a steady stream of customers for what has become celebrated as the nation’s busiest shopping day.

“We had great foot traffic and sales after Thanksgiving,” said Peter Asciutto, owner of Vac & Dash. “We’re looking forward to a busy holiday season as we have many new items in our store for runners, walkers and cyclists.”

Despite rainy conditions, Saturday was not a total loss as downtown businesses braved the conditions in the interest of holiday commerce.

For a third straight year, Almond manned a welcome station where she dispensed shopping bags, various coupons and goodies courtesy of American Express. AMEX sponsors Small Business Saturday nationally.

Three upcoming events will benefit Albemarle shoppers as well.

Dec. 8 marks the Stanly County Christmas Parade, which will be held in downtown Albemarle.

“A lot of retailers will be open at that, too,” Almond said.

On the following day, the ADDC hosts its annual Holiday Tour of Homes.

Plans call for La T Dah Boutique to open that same Sunday with a portion of its sales benefitting ADDC.

Then on Dec. 14, Albemarle Parks & Recreation will show the movie “Polar Express” at the auditorium at the Central School Apartments from 6:30-9 p.m.

First established in 2010, Small Business Saturday is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores, respectively.