Crowds show up to support local retailers - WSMV Channel 4

Crowds show up to support local retailers

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FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -

Shoppers crowded locally-owned retailers around Middle Tennessee for Small Business Saturday.

Streets were full as shoppers filled the square for bargains at locally-owned stores, as part of a huge push this year to keep money in local communities.

Many vendors opened early, some as early as 7 a.m., to attract shoppers away from larger shopping centers.

If preliminary sales figures from Black Friday are any indication, local retailers could be in for quite an uptick in profits. Retail experts with America's Research Group estimate sales increased about 10 to 14 percent across the country.

Bill Markham, of Red Wing Shoes, has been in the shoe business for 23 years.

"You might pay a bit more, but the quality is worth the difference," he said.

And keeping the edge means competing with big name retailers.

"We overcome that by giving good customer service," Markham said.

His shoe shop in downtown Lebanon is one of many stores urging residents to stop in and spend some cash this holiday season.

It's a message Wilson County Commissioner William Glover is working to spread through a campaign "Shop Wilson County First."

"If you don't support your business here in town, they don't have enough for the business to keep the lights on," he said.

This campaign to keep money local seems to be spreading. Businesses in East Nashville are coming together, some offering discounts, to get people in the doors.

Locally-owned Fanny's House of Music is another example of this local push. They are just one business in the Five Points district encouraging people to skip the mall altogether this season.

For these smaller shops it's not just a weekend event. They hope the push is a year-round campaign.

Downtown Franklin is also rallying behind small business shopping. Some 150 stores in Franklin are offering special sales, longer hours and other promotions to attract shoppers. For more, visit www.downtownfranklintn.com

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