NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - On Saturday, local shops across the nation hoped to weigh in on some of the holiday shopping madness. This was especially true in our area, since tourist business slows down this time of year.
Dozens of stores lured shoppers in with discounts they couldn't resist and cashed in on business they usually don't get this time of year thanks to Small Business Saturday.
The holiday shopping season has officially begun and local shops, like those in North Myrtle Beach, are in the spotlight.
Bill Griste, owner of Duffy's Street Seafood Shack says, "It's the home town feel, We're interested in the person, not just the money. you know we want you to come in, have a good time, get to know you. We want you to feel like you're on vacation even if you're not."
American Express started this shop local movement four years ago to help local owners get more customers. Around $5.7 billion dollars were spent during last year's Small Business Saturday.
Griste explains, "it's definitely a big push in the off season for us. It's all about supporting your local businesses and we can use all the support we can get in the off season here in the Grand Strand."
Together with Small Business Saturday, North Myrtle Beach hosted their annual Shop Small Shop Local Snowball Drop. Forty-seven shops participated, nearly twice as many as last year.
Vicki Kiebler with the North Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce says, "Each year it's growing, this is our third year doing it. and we are excited about it, the merchants love it. the stores are packed all day long."
Two thousand 'snowballs' dropped as dozens of people picked them up - eager to find out what kind of discount they got.
"The 25 dollar gift card, so that's good, and the rest we don't really know until we go," says Debbie Doll, a local resident.
Each snow ball has a different shop on it, but the customer doesn't find out what they've won until they visit the store and find out.
By shopping local, it helps give back to your neighborhood by reinvesting your money spent to help keep your community looking beautiful and create jobs.
Griste explains, "There's a key group of people that we've had for a number of years and it's a great feeling to know we can offer a position for them year round."
Shops will continue offering sales throughout the holiday shopping season. If you were one of the lucky few who snatched one of the snowballs, your discount will last until the last day of December.