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Mohawk Valley

Small businesses rely on holiday season

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Small businesses rely on holiday season
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There aren't many big box retail stores in the North Country, but small business owners want you to know that you can still do all of your holiday shopping there. Some stores offer special sales all season long. Barry Wygel did his own Black Friday shopping by seeing what small businesses have to offer this holiday season.

POTSDAM, N.Y. -- Black Friday marks the start of the holiday shopping season. For small businesses, it's a crucial time.

"Last year, it was huge for me. It was the biggest time of the year. Right after Thanksgiving right up to Christmas Eve, it was tremendously busy in the store," said Mary Hilton, owner of Maple Run Emporium.

It's starts on Black Friday and kind of carries itself all the way through until, even to Christmas Eve for the most part. This is the kickoff. This is the big one," said Jeremy Carney, co-owner of Northern Music and Video.

Even if they are not as advertised as the big retail stores, many small businesses have large sales going on throughout the holiday season.

"Beyond the Black Friday sale, which is our biggest sale of the year, we do extended discounts on different items, one-of-a-kinds, package deals, stuff like that," said Carney.

Black Friday also gives smaller shops the chance to get new customers in who might not realize what a store has to offer. Hilton says she has a lot of products that people sometimes travel hours for.

“On Black Friday, I put them on special, in hopes that people will discover that I have them here," said Hilton.

But beyond the sales, business owners say it can be a fun experience to shop at smaller stores.

"A lot of people enjoy the Christmas season just coming downtown and going in and out of shops," said Hilton.

Potsdam also hosts a holiday weekend the first weekend in December. It's their own version of Small Business Saturday. Many businesses offer sales better than Black Friday.

"We also have a sale next Sunday to kick off holiday weekend in Potsdam and it's nice because it gives people the opportunity that don't want to battle on Black Friday," said Carney.

So if you don't want to make the drive to the bigger stores, chances are you will still be able to find what you need.

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