NEW BERN, CRAVEN COUNTY - It's the holiday season, which means holiday shopping days are among us.
With Black Friday just passing and Small Business Saturday here, customers in Eastern North Carolina have had the chance to take advantage of sales at both big retail stores and mom and pop shops.
But with these two holiday shopping days being back to back, do small businesses have a disadvantage in this sales season?
Small Business owner Juliet Breuer says no. Breuer owns Juliette's Boutique in downtown New Bern. She's been open for eight years.
"Small Business Saturday is for my locals," Breuer said. "They'll come in and shop because they support this downtown. People want the money to stay in their community so they do support small businesses."
Just a few shops down, manager Charles Roberts at Surf, Wind and Fire says this shopping holiday reinforces what small businesses are all about. He doesn't feel Black Friday threatens Small Business Sunday.
"I think folks head out to all the big box stores on Black Friday to get all the discounts and sales and stuff," Roberts said. "But they really look forward to stores like us for finding that special gift."
According to the National Retail Federation, total holiday sales this year across the country are expected to reach over 600 billion dollars. That's an increase of nearly four percent over the last year.