Florence small business owners prepare for Black Friday - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Florence small business owners prepare for Black Friday

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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) - Shoppers and retailers are all preparing for Black Friday, traditionally a time when big chains rake in big dollars, but small business owners want consumers to remember them as well.

"I just say to everyone, don't forget your small businesses. We're as mom and pop as it gets," Leslie Carpenter said.

Carpenter works at A & B Florist, a business her family has owned for almost 30 years.

 "We've seen tons of Black Fridays. And some years are busier than others; it's like that in retail," Carpenter said. "But you never know what you're going to get when you're in the midst of it."

She says on Black Friday business may not be booming each year but it's always busy.

"We're that stop that you make on Fridays so that they can get their decorating up when they are with the family," Carpenter said.

She says to compete with big florist chains, where customers can place orders over the web instantly, she has to be prepared months in advance.

"If you don't have it our early, then you're not competing with the other people or the other places where your customers are," Carpenter said.

Allyson Carter owns the clothing store The Pink Boutique with her husband, Vince Carter. She says small businesses offer many incentives to shop that large stores do not.

 "It's a great opportunity for them to come to a local store without having to fight the crowds at the mall," Carter said.

She's opening her store one hour earlier and closing one hour later.

"What really motivates a customer to come out to a small business is that they are going to get that personalized service," Carter said.

Mike Bell of the South Carolina Small Business Development Center in Florence says owners should not try to use the same strategies that big box stores use like huge discounts and extreme hours.

Bell says the key is to stay in their comfort zones targeting the less aggressive shoppers.

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