Aiken businesses work to keep money in local economy

Aiken businesses work to keep money and jobs in local economy

Over twenty businesses in downtown Aiken teamed up to encourage residents across the CSRA to shop small and keep money and jobs in the area.

"It's really exciting for all the vendors and all the businesses down town, I believe it gives a Christmas feel," Gaye Cain told WFXG.

Cain, manager of the Antique Mall in downtown Aiken, said that it's difficult competing with large stores; so she was excited that the Aiken Downtown Development organized Holly Day to help increase foot traffic in small businesses and get folks in the holiday spirit.

"It's extremely important. People have to understand small businesses can't make it like the big box stores if they're have too much down time. And this economy has been has been hitting pretty hard and if we don't get the small business support you just can go under," Cain said.

Saturday's rain didn't stop local shops or shoppers. Two sisters drove over an hour to take part in Holly Day.

"it's just more quaint. Especially during the holidays, and that's what we like about it," said Sherma Ashcraft as she was doing some Christmas shopping.

Ashcraft said she loves how the Christmas decorations and hospitality put her in the holiday spirit when she shops downtown Aiken. She said events like Holly Day make it easier to support small businesses.

"it's paramount because if it wasn't for shopping in your own small town the shops couldn't stay open."

Cain said shoppers like Ashcraft are the reason that local stores thrive.

"I just hope everybody will support their small business and keep money in the community. When you shop small it keeps it right here, it keeps us vibrant and it encourages other people to open businesses," Cain said.

The Aiken Downtown Development is encouraging everyone to shop locally between now and Christmas because small businesses enhance the entire community.