Hampton Roads stores prepare for Small Business Saturday

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – As some shoppers headed out to big box stores for Black Friday deals, many small businesses in Hampton Roads were getting ready for the day after.

Governor Terry McAuliffe released a proclamation recognizing Small Business Saturday in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Local shoppers peruse the goods at small businesses in Hampton Roads. (WAVY/Jeff Myers)

Deon Foster, owner of The Kitchen Koop in Portsmouth, was handing out coupons Friday.

“Oh my God. This is it. This is it. You either make it or you don’t,” Foster said.

She likes to think that she offers something you can’t get at the national-chain stores.

“Here, we’re so specialized. Yeah, they may have made a thousand, but I have shopped around so meticulously to find the right things,” she said.

Across the Elizabeth River, the sentiment was the same: shop small.

Elizabeth Whitehouse was working at A Dodson’s in Norfolk, which will offer a limited number of giveaways on Saturday.

“Last year definitely was a bigger year for Small Business Saturday than your typical weekend or any other of the normal through the week days,” Whitehouse said.

Crowds of people shopped at the Virginia Beach Convention Center for the Virginia Beach Christmas Market Friday. More than 250 local and national vendors sold items with signs displaying their hometowns. The Market runs through Sunday.

Karen Francis bought a personalized gift for a new teacher.

“Definitely a personal touch. Where else am I going to find somebody that’s going to put somebody’s name on something, and be happy about doing it?” she said. “They’re people in our neighborhoods and our friends and neighbors, so why not support them?”

The Governor’s Office stated consumers spent more than $5 billion at small businesses nationwide last year on Saturday. There are more than 650,000 small businesses in Virginia, according to the Small Business Administration.

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