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Stores prep for Small Business Saturday crowds

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SPRING HOPE — Merchants are getting ready for a busy day of local shopping on Small Business Saturday.

Downtown has several stores and shops — many opened since last Christmas — offering every kind of gift imaginable, said Allen Barbee, president of the Spring Hope Chamber of Commerce.

“We hope people shop local,” Barbee said. “It’s important to support local businesses. I hope people or conscious of that while they’re shopping.”

There’s also bargains and rare gift items at local shops that can’t be found in big-box stores.

Pine Street Market Place has more than 20 vendors offering painted furniture, lettering, jewelry, knickknacks and more, said building owner Greg Bartholomew.

The unique items lend themselves perfectly to Christmas gifts, Bartholomew said.

“Shopping local is good for everyone,” Batholomew said.

Spring Hope is becoming a thrift store and antique shop gold mine with several downtown storefronts that have been vacant for years teeming with life. Even more businesses opening soon include an old-fashioned mercantile store selling local products and general store staples like candy and jerky.

An auction house that had been closed for years has been reopened and is running auctions every weekend. A small appliance store has opened, offering used refrigerators and more. On Main Street, Scavengers Antiques, Collectibles and Great Junk, opened in August, offers a little bit of everything.

American Express created Small Business Saturday ­— first observed in the U.S. in 2010 — as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize small and local brick-and-mortar businesses.

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