Downtown Roanoke business owners hopeful for Small Business Saturday turnout

10 News spoke to local small business owners about what they hope for the day

Small businesses are hopeful that people will shop during Small Business Saturday.

ROANOKE, Va. – More customers checking out the holiday deals this weekend is a sign of hope for small businesses on Saturday.

Between sales signs and Park Roanoke waiving its fees for a couple of days, it’s all in an effort to gain more customers in downtown Roanoke for Small Business Saturday.

“In these hard times, they’re having trouble,” one customer Paul Matsumoro said. “Now why give all of our money to the big conglomerates when the local guy is struggling?”

Among those local guys is Dev Oli, the owner of Serenity Treasures.

“We support two, three employees,” he said. “Employees also support their families and that’s what makes the local economy going.”

Oli is down 50% in sales compared to last year’s Black Friday, but he’s hopeful for the business on Small Business Saturday.

”That’s like small businesses’ big festival,” Oli said. “So we are hoping more people will come and that will generate more business and that we will be able to survive in business.”

Though Rolling Meadows Farm did not get hit as hard by the coronavirus pandemic as others, owner Tim Belcher feels for his neighbors.

“They didn’t have walk-by customers,” Belcher said. “And that drastically hurt these people. For us, a lot of my customers came out to our farm and shopped in the greenhouses.”

That’s why another small business customer Lindsay Schwartz makes it a point to shop local.

“I love going from place to place to look at different stores,” Schwartz said. “See the venue, see what they have. Some of these local stores are really important to Roanoke because they have such a great history.”

You can also support local small businesses Saturday, Nov. 28, for Small Business Saturday.

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Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.