ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Dozens of people crowded downtown Roanoke in waves, stopping by small businesses for Black Friday.
Many shoppers said they were going out of their way in an effort to shop local. Some stated it was because they wanted to stay away from large crowds, others noting the beautiful weather and their desire to be outside.
However, most people stated the pandemic motivated them to make sure to spend their holiday dollars locally.
Pauline Wood owns Shades of Color on the outskirts of Market Square for more than three decades. She says after closing for four months, the pandemic has hit her business hard.
“A lot of people didn’t know what to expect for this COVID-19 so therefore, they did not come out like they normally would,” Wood explained.
Friday, quite a few customers showed up and spent money, which for Wood was a pleasant surprise.
“After what I’ve seen today I’m feeling really good about tomorrow,” she stated.
Mother daughter duo, Christine and Alexadrea Spiers decided to take on the day as a quality time activity.
Alexandrea said, “it seems like a fun activity for me and my mother during this time when there’s not many activities as there used to be last year.”
Christine, shared she was enjoying the unexpected: “I love finding things, like treasures that I wasn’t necessarily looking for.”
Becky Fariss-Bailey and Dan Bailey hit the department stores early, before transitioning to their traditional downtown shopping experience.
“I would like to keep the stores that we have in business, so our small contribution helps do that we hope,” Dan explained.
“For one thing, it’s outdoors, for another thing, I did not anticipate a crowd,” Becky stated.
Doloris Vest has been in business for a shorter amount of time than some downtown staples, so when the pandemic hit, her shopping traffic went online.
“When we’d been here about our one-year anniversary of course is when things kicked in with the pandemic,” Vest explained.
The turnout on Friday, Nov. 27, she said, was better than last Black Friday.
“It’s been picking up this whole month you know, and quite busy. You can tell there’s a lot more people out and about this morning down on the market.”
With Small Business Saturday ahead, both business owners and customers shared they are feeling excited and hopeful.
- UPDATE: Man dies after Sunday night shooting in Lynchburg
- Reigning champion Chiefs dump Bills 38-24 in AFC title game
- 11-year-old remembers his mother, Samantha Robinson, who was fatally shot in Lynchburg
- Super Host: Bucs become 1st to play Super Bowl at home
- Radford residents react to Sunday morning shootings