CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - Hurricane Matthew was hard on the Grand Strand. Many people were affected by the devastating damage. Among them were small businesses.
The first Saturday after Thanksgiving was a welcome unofficial holiday for those businesses. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday is a holiday coined by the corporate juggernaut American Express. It started as a grassroots holiday in 2010 to support local business.
"Each year it seems like it's getting more and more momentum," said Craig Smith, the owner of a small business in Conway.
Smith owns Papa's General Store on Main Street in Conway. He's doing what he can to capitalize on a day that's meant to bring businesses like his more customers.
"They brought out bags for us to give to customers," said Lindsey Kersey, an associate at Papa's General Store.
"We had a lot of small business bags," Smith said. "We ran out of them by 10:00. We had an awful month of October. We had so many setbacks with the weather," Smith said.
This holiday season, moreso than others, is an important one to the small businesses across the East Coast that have suffered from Hurricane Matthew.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday draw consumers to big businesses that can afford to have huge door-buster sales because of the size of their inventories.
Small Business Saturday is about helping stores that communities depend on year-round.
Smith said there's an element of attention, of customer service you just don't see in large chains. Smith lives by a motto - "Don't try to sell to people, help people buy." It's a motto, he says, national chains can't afford to live by.
"When you're paying high rent like that, you have a bunch of people who work in those stores to constantly perform, to sell, sell, sell. Here, our people are encouraged to make friends," Smith said.
American Express founded Small Business Saturday. If you're interested in supporting local businesses near you, you can find information by clicking here.