Local businesses boom on Black Friday

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — While we’re nearing the end of Black Friday and approaching Small Business Saturday, the beginning of a holiday shopping season unlike any other kicks off with a boom.

“You have no idea what to expect,” says Alex Brubaker, manager of a book store that used to pack as many people inside as it could.

“We know customers like browsing books, and so we brought all the books out here, outside to the customers.” Brubaker said “we just need to pivot and get creative really quick to survive this.”

A trend local businesses have come to terms with. But marketing expert Tim Burt says small businesses can learn from big businesses.

“If you own a small business and you’ve never done gift cards, this is the perfect time to start doing it because you can mail them out. they can be digital.”

Midtown Scholar follows that part of what you might call the pivot playbook. But other sops like Bob Degomar’s Jean Joint, doesn’t follow any of it.

“We were originally told we’d be closed for about two weeks and it dragged to about eight weeks,” said Degomar.

But no sooner did the holiday season approach, “business was on fire. we were doing three to four times our normal sales.” Degomar added. “Our business is not reliant on Black Friday or the holiday season. we do well all year round, thank god.”

But for the big box stores and the big malls, Black Friday is still the big day. The parking lot at capital City Mall is packed at the end of a month which began with its owner filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

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