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Richmond shop owners optimistic about Small Business Saturday

RICHMOND, Va. -- At Fountain Bookstore, owner Kelly Justice is looking to turn the page on Black Friday.

“I feel really appreciated,” Justice said.  “They come in and say they’re making a deliberate choice today.”

Small Business Saturday is proving to be more lucrative for stores like Fountain located on Cary Street in Shockoe Slip where sales have jumped 17-percent.

“I feel like people getting message that when they spend their money at a locally owned business their money stays in the city,” Justice said.

The campaign launched by American Express six years ago shifts the focus from big box to smaller bricks and mortar where Justice said  service is second to none.

“My people here really, really care about their customers. It is the right book for the right person at the right time,” Justice said.

 Fountain Bookstore

Fountain Bookstore

Mark Szafranski, owner of Metro Sound and Music on Broad Street in Richmond, has been selling vintage instruments for 25 years. The musician said boosting sales the day after Black Friday is music to his ears.

“Oh, Small Business Saturday has really come to benefit us as a company,” Szafranski said. “In celebration of doing business downtown we’re offering 25-percent off. Which we’ve never done before.”

Mark Szafranski

Mark Szafranski

Szafranski is donating all of his profits to the Richmond Cycling Corp, which is an organization which introduces underprivileged young people to cycling.

According to Forbes magazine, spending among consumers aware of Small Business Saturday in 2015 reached $16.2 billion nationwide. That is an increase of 14-percent from the previous year.

Kinda Hamm

Kinda Hamm

Some business owners like Kinda Hamm at Heavenly Hair in Henrico County are using the day to give back. Hamm is teaming up with Virginia Blood Services, which will operate a blood drive outside the salon.

“For me I guess it is a gift to help,” Hamm said. “Anything that will help anybody I’m all for it. It is exciting.”

Back at Fountain Books, Justice said Small Business Saturday helps write a happy ending to the season of giving and the bottom line.

“It is a wonderful way to come together in the city,” Justice said. “It is a new positive American tradition.”