Small businesses hope holiday shopping will offset loss during w - WSMV News 4

Small businesses hope holiday shopping will offset loss during white supremacist rally

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It wasn't that long ago that a popular Middle Tennessee square was prepping for the worst -- a white supremacist rally was headed for Murfreesboro.

To keep everyone safe, police shut down the square for most of the weekend, which meant the "mom and pop" business that line the streets lost tens of thousands of dollars.

Those businesses are looking forward to Small Business Saturday, hoping shoppers preparing for the holidays will help offset the losses they suffered last month.

Terri Neely, who owns Terri Leigh’s Boutique on Church Street says she depends on Saturdays for 60-percent of her store's weekly sales.

“You have just the change in seasons, so you have your fall clothes and then you are leading up to the holidays -- so yes, to lose a Saturday in October, especially the end of October, creates a major dent in your income for the month,” Neely explained.

The rally was costly for all of Rutherford County. 

Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on a security ramp-up that included gas masks, chemical weapons and more manpower.

For many who call Murfreesboro home, it was a sad way to see their historic town square.

“It was very upsetting, so we try to support them before and after and we have supported them several times since then because we knew it was a big revenue loss for them,” said Jeannie Roberts, a local shopper.

Neely says she feels the love.

“The people in Murfreesboro are tremendous," said Neely. "They came out and supported us the week leading up to it and the week after and I know they will be here again tomorrow."

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