Downtown businesses prepared for Small Business Saturday

Wil Petty Staff Writer

November 28, 2013

Business owners throughout West Jefferson’s downtown area are preparing for the holiday rush as Small Business Saturday is approaching.

The shopping holiday started in 2010 as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two days which cater to larger chains. The day focuses more on locally-owned businesses, to help give them a boost.

“(The day) is good for bring people into our business,” said Tabetha Howell, owner of Tab-A-Dees, located on West Jefferson’s Backstreet. “It has been advertised and more people are learning about it occurring every year.”

Tab-A-Dees has been open for two years and the weekend after Thanksgiving remains one of its busiest weekends.

“It is a big shopping day for us,” Howell said. “It might not be as busy as it is on the main street, but we are getting more people directed toward us.”

Howell said there will be specials for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, with some items being 25 percent off.

For Ashe County Cheese, the weekend after Thanksgiving is its busiest weekend of the year.

“We have a lot of people coming in locally and buying trees, but a lot of local people stay and we’re thankful for that,” Josh Williams, owner of Ashe County Cheese said. “It is our busiest weekend of the year.”

For the weekend, Williams said the store offers more of its products to sample as a way to show appreciation. Also, the factory will run those two days so people can see how the cheese is made, and some items will be discounted.

Williams said they are anticipating their biggest sales days ever this weekend.

“Traffic for us has been up all year,” he said. “We look for it to possibly be the busiest day we’ve ever had. We tend to feel that way every year and it usually is.”

Williams said the business will bring in extra help and an extra cash register to help customers get served faster.

The Artists’ Theatre on Main Street is also preparing for the busy weekend.

“I am hoping a lot more people come into town that are local folks, not just our second home owners,” said Lisa Willingham, co-owner of the Artists’ Theatre. “I hope our local folks will come and shop downtown. It is always good to see everybody around the holiday time, but we want them to come here as often as possible.”

Willingham said that she has been putting up Christmas decorations throughout the shop to help put everybody in the Christmas spirit. The store will also be providing refreshments such as apple cider and cookies as a way to show appreciation to the store’s customers.

“I will probably do 10 percent off everything storewide,” she said. “I have new merchandise and inventory in the store. I’m hoping that folks will come down to look at different things they have not seen before.”

The shop sells paintings and different arts and crafts. Willingham said she is hopeful this weekend, as well as the upcoming Christmas Crawl on Dec. 6, will be amongst the shop’s busiest days.

For that to happen, Willingham said, the weather has to cooperate.

“I’m hoping that we will have that crisp weather that will get everybody in the spirit, but that it is not cold enough to keep everybody inside,” Willingham said.