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Jessica Brown hands a bag to Graceann Dubose on Tuesday at her business, Jessica’s Closet.

ABBEVILLE — Neighbors helping neighbors.

That’s the message behind Pink Friday that kicks off today in downtown Abbeville. It is the first of several events during the next month dedicated to promoting local businesses.

The focus is about shopping at small stores before going to the big box stores on Black Friday, said Jessica Brown, owner of Jessica’s Closet, a women’s attire and accessories store.

Her store will have sales all weekend. Extended hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. today and 10 am. to 6 p.m. Saturday. It will offer specials and gifts with purchases. The first five people to buy both days with receive gifts, she said.

Other information on extended store hours and specials on the event is on the city’s Facebook page. Other participating business are Breezy Quarters, Gathering on Trinity, 105 West, Trends on Trinity, As We Grow Boutique, Divine Your Space and Divine Wine & Craft.

As of Tuesday, Brown said business owners were still asking about joining the effort. Some businesses in Greenwood are participating in Pink Friday as well.

In addition to the sales, Breezy Quarters will have a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its fifth anniversary on Saturday.

The big emphasis is shopping small first. Other events are Black Friday, Small Business Saturday (Nov. 27) and Cyber Monday.

Those are the biggest market days. Brown said she expects business to say busy from Black Friday on and hopes the Pink Friday will be the big kickoff to the holiday shopping season.

Brown said she has had people tell her they intend to check posts on Facebook and Instagram. All local businesses with websites will offer deals on Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Black Friday.

The big thing with the whole movement is community over competition, she said. People don’t see big box stores’ names on the back of kids’ jerseys. Walmart and Target don’t care about little league teams.

Locals business owners buy ads for yearbooks, the band, cheerleading squads and soccer teams. Hardware stores and boutiques help as well.

“If it gets people to shop small, it’s served its purpose,” said Anna LaGrone, executive director of the Greater Abbeville Chamber of Commerce, about Pink Friday. When others support small business, it helps the community. You help your neighbors stay in business.

The Greater Abbeville Chamber of Commerce is working with American Express to get promotional materials for Small Business Saturday, she said.

Other events are planned for the holiday shopping season, she said. On Small Business Saturday, Redgate Realty and Sage & Co. will have grand openings.

On Dec. 3-4, Handmade for the Holidays will be at the Livery Stable. It will feature projects made by area craftspeople. As of Tuesday, LaGrone said up to 30 vendors had registered. People were calling the chamber to reserve spaces before staff had started work on the event.

A Cookie Walk will be Dec. 4. Check-in will be at the Livery Stable. Up to 150 tickets will be available. Cookies will be available at downtown businesses.

Breakfast with Santa and Storytime with his Helpers will be Dec. 11 at the Belmont Inn.

Unlike other promotional events, this year’s Pink Friday is not being sponsored by any organizations. Brown said local business owners opted to be part of the nationwide effort. It is the first time she had been part of the event. Pink Friday started last year because of COVID-19 when many stores were shutting down.

Community over competition is the mindset that is needed, LaGrone said. “When one of us is successful, we all will grow.”

Contact staff writer Robert Jordan at 864-943-5650.

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