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Small Business Saturday deemed a success

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Small businesses in Roswell did well during Small Business Saturday this year, while several festivities meant to enhance the Christmas spirit also won rave reviews, according to two prominent community leaders.

Candace Purcella, executive director of the Roswell Chamber of Commerce, said merchants at downtown businesses were busy on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving.

“It sounded like everyone I talked to, that there was a lot of traffic through their doors,” Purcella said.

Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 by credit card giant American Express to help increase economic activity at small businesses and help them weather the Great Recession.

Small Business Saturday has since joined Black Friday — the first Friday after Thanksgiving, which has traditionally marked the kick-off of the holiday shopping season — as a major shopping day for retailers and consumers alike.

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Molly Boyles, a business owner and president of Main Street Roswell — an organization that represents merchants in downtown Roswell and tries to draw people to the Main Street area — said her business was packed with shoppers.

“We stayed busy all day long,” Boyles said.

This year Main Street Roswell in collaboration with the Chamber hosted several activities to draw interest in supporting Small Businesses.

A ribbon-cutting was hosted Saturday morning at about 9 a.m. to mark the start of Small Business Saturday at Reischman Park with a reading of a proclamation by Roswell Mayor Dennis Kintigh.

Purcella said 15 to 20 people showed up for the ribbon cutting and proclamation.

People were encouraged to take part in Shop Small Roswell, where people were encouraged to take a selfie while in any one of select businesses and post the selfie on either Facebook or Instagram with the name of the small business and #ShopSmallRoswell2018. People also had to tag Main Street Roswell in their post.

By posting a selfie people would be eligible to win a gift basket with $515 worth of items and gift certificates from area businesses.

Boyles said the winner of the basket will be determined in a drawing that will take place this morning, though she did not offer any additional details.

A community Christmas tree decorating ceremony took place late Saturday at Pioneer Plaza, Boyles said.

She added that between 150 and 200 people came to place ornaments on the tree near the Roswell Visitor Center between 3 and 5:30 p.m.

Devon Bullock, a local woman, had set up tables for children to make decorations by stringing together popcorn and cereal.

“They seemed really busy at those tables,” Boyle said.

She added the Roswell Fire Department helped place ornaments in higher-reaching areas and placed the star on top before Santa Claus came to light the tree in a public ceremony.

Boyles said Bullock talked with her about having more activities aimed at children at next year’s tree lighting.

Breaking news reporter Alex Ross can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 301, or at breakingnews@rdrnews.com.