Economic impact stays in community

Between the sleepy shoppers of Black Friday and the online savers on Cyber Monday sit the locals looking to give back to their community — and still get a good deal — on Small Business Saturday.

This Saturday, N.C. Community Colleges Small Business Center Network encourages everyone to “shop small for all” to support independent business owners here in Onslow County.

“Small businesses give back so much to our communities, and this is our chance to get great products and services right here at home, while also sending the strong message that ‘shopping small is good for all,” said Anne Shaw, the director of the Small Business Center at Coastal Carolina Community College.

Founded in 2010, Small Business Saturday has quickly become a nationally-recognized day to save, according to a press release from Coastal.

“The day has since grown into a powerful movement in support of local small businesses that make communities unique,” according to the release.

It’s small businesses that make a community unique, Laurette Leagon, president of the Jacksonville Onslow Chamber of Commerce, wrote in the release. It’s these businesses that make Onslow County attractive while recruiting other businesses and people to move to the area.

Businesses like SALT, or Soak Away Life Troubles, located at 1201 Hargett St. Suite A in downtown Jacksonville.

SALT owner Donna Ferguson makes all of her soaps from scratch, including purple and white cupcake-shaped soaps and Christmas soap bars in holiday reds and greens.

Ferguson also has cranberry-scented lotion, such a hit with customers that Ferguson said she only has five bottles left.

“Everything is literally hand-crafted,” Ferguson said.

When asked about the importance of buying local, Ferguson said, “Oh my gosh it’s everything.”

Bigger stores are taking over small businesses, Ferguson said. These small businesses give back to the local community and local economy.

Ferguson said she gives back often, noting a recent donation of 50 bars of soap to Camp Lejeune Fisher House, an organization that helps military families in times of medical crisis.

This Saturday, Ferguson will be in Morehead City at the annual Holiday Craft Fair hosted at The History Place, located at 1008 Arendell St. The event hosts “handcrafted gems, doll clothing, ornaments, and much, much more,” according to its Facebook event page.

Ferguson will be selling her special edition Christmas soaps – one is spicy, another is a sweet citrus scent, she said. These will not be made again, she added.

Starting Saturday, and lasting through the holidays, Ferguson said her soaps will be five for $25, a savings of buying four and getting one for free.

For those who can’t make it out to Morehead City on Saturday, Frances Spivey invites all to her online sale on Facebook at LuLaRoe Frances Spivey.

Spivey is doing LuLaCASH giveaways throughout the day — free money that can be used for her inventory — and she will be announcing other surprises on her page Saturday morning, she said.

Spivey said selling LuLaRoe for her small business has brought wonderful women into her life and she’s thankful daily for her relationship with them.

It’s the community relationships Spivey’s built that she feels is the biggest benefit.

“My favorite part of being a small business owner is that I’ve made so many friends within my community that I wouldn’t have made without my business,” Spivey said.