Small businesses provide relief, unique items on Black Friday

GREENDALE -- You could certainly consider Black Friday a big challenge for small business owners.  As millions of Americans flocked  to the malls and big box stores Thanksgiving night and early Friday morning, many smaller shops are working just  to stay relevant.

\"When I see the excitement on their face, you know, 'This is just what I was looking for!'  I know I've done my  job well,\" Seasons of the Heart store owner Anne Schimmel said.

Schimmel's store on Broad Street in Greendale did good business Friday morning.  She thinks customers are drawn to the  smaller stores to get away from the shopping frenzy.


\"I don't have 32-inch TVs for a $1.99, you know, so I'm not even going to try,\" Schimmel said.  \"What I have here are items you don't find everywhere, they're unique items, a lot of locally made items.\"

Customers at the store, like Becky Sanfelippo, made sure to avoid the retail stores.

\"They're willing to give you extra deals and do special things for you that they probably can't do for you at the  big box stores,\" Sanfelippo said.


\"We don't even pretend to compete,\" Little Read Book owner Linda Burg said.

Burg doesn't run any big specials for Black Friday at her store on State Street in Wauwatosa's village.  Her deals will come next week.  Even so, sales Friday were steady.


\"Our money goes back into the community,\" Burg said.  \"It doesn't go to New York or Chicago or someplace else.  It stays right  here.\"

Burg only needs two employees to run her store.  She, like Schimmel, appreciates the challenge the big box stores  provide.

\"If you're looking to make a quick buck, this is not the business to be in,\" Burg said.

\"It's a fact of life, and as a small business owner, you know, there's nothing I can really do about it,\" Schimmel said.

Smaller businesses will get their day to shine Saturday.  Nationwide, stores are participating in Small Business Saturday.  Many will offer deals and discounts to promote their businesses.

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