Businesses big and small prep for holiday blitz


Reporter - Kendall Downing
Photojournalist - David Dycus

MARION, Ill. - You might've stood in a cold line Thanksgiving night or breezed your way through the doors of your favorite store Friday morning.

We're now right in the middle of the holiday shopping season. Businesses both big and small are primed for busy weeks ahead.

At the crack of dawn Friday, shoppers like Caressa Silvia lined the aisle of the Marion, Illinois Target.

"I'm ready. I'm done. I'm spent after this one," she said.

Silvia had been awake for more than 24 hours.

The beeps of Black Friday filled the air. Target team leaders said business was steady and a bit more relaxed this year. They opened Thanksgiving night at 8 p.m.

"It doesn't feel as busy because it's spread throughout the day. Before when we opened at five, it felt like everyone was in here at five," said Kenya Davis, Target Team Leader.

From the big box, to the big barn, national names aren't the only ones rolling out their stock this weekend.

"We're getting ready for all our Christmas visitors," said Betty Sirles, "This small business idea where people are supporting our neighbors, that's huge for us."

Sirles and her crew at Rendleman Orchards in Alto Pass, Illinois spent Black Friday sorting apples and getting in the spirit. She's prepping for her Christmas rush.

"Yes, there are some bargains in the big box stores, but I think people still like to meet their neighbors,." she said.

Sirles said they aim to please customers with a personal touch, providing them with jams and fruits they can't find anywhere else.

"People are looking for uniqueness, and what we have here is unique to our area," said Sirles.

Saturday, November 30 is Small Business Saturday.

American Express started the movement in 2010 to encourage consumer support of small businesses on the eve of Black Friday success for big-box retailers.