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Small Business Saturday a blessing for area shops

OCCOQUAN — Patriot Scuba is celebrating its best post-Thanksgiving Day sales period, ever.

Sales were so good for the independently-owned and operated diving shop in Occoquan owner Merial Currer extended her Small Business Saturday promotions through Sunday. The business offered up to 50% off diving gear.

Currer participated in Small Business Saturday, a seven-year-old effort by Amercian Express to encourage people to shop at small, independent shops the day after taking advantage of Black Friday deals at major retailers.

The shop posted “Small Business Saturday” banners and signs outside the shop on Mill Street to draw attention to the store. It was one of many small retailers in the region that participated in the event.

“This was our third time participating in Small Business Saturday. It’s a no-brainer,” said Melissa Harris, owner of Totally Vintage Design in Manassas.

Harris’ shop on Saturday was busier than it had been in weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, she said. Decorative signs were the hot item flying off the shelves in her store that specializes holiday decor, wine accessories, and women’s clothing.

Harris doubled her sales when compared to the last Small Business Saturday. She credits, in part, the national advertising campaign levied by American Express to promote the unique shopping day.

LaVerne Carson, of The Golden Goose in Occoquan, hasn’t yet tallied up the sales numbers for this year’s Saturday sales event.

“We had a very good Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” said Carson. “There’s no way of knowing if Small Business Saturday helped us, but it’s always lovely for someone to promote small business.”

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