As the holiday shopping season kicked off, Atlanta City Council member Kwanza Hall ramped up his support of the Keep it InTown campaign. The District 2 councilman has been promoting the effort to get people who live in town to spend discretionary dollars at locally owned independent businesses.
"They need our help right now. The big chains are the big chains, and they're going to be there," Hall told Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri. "This weekend, we hope, going forward, we hope people will take a little extra special attention to these small start-ups. These people are just trying to make it."
Seth Kloss is co-owner of Drew Lewis Boutique on Peachtree Street in midtown. He said starting with Black Friday, weekend sales were good. He told Napier Viteri his shop, like many others, depends on local support to pay for staffing and inventory.
"Credit card processing, phone bills, electric bills -- those start to add up when you don't have people coming in buying your inventory. That's your moneymaker," Kloss said.
A few doors down, the owners of Revolution 11 Vintage Market and Studio just celebrated their grand opening. Owner Hillary Quinlan told Napier Viteri the shop has been a dream for her and partner Nova Hudson, one that depends on area residents spending money there.
"They're making that possible. They really are," Quinlan said.
Hall said the benefit of shopping locally extends beyond the businesses themselves.
"They’re providing jobs. I mean, this place could be dark and empty, but look at all the great things they put in here," Hall said.
If people spend just a portion of their holiday shopping budget at local in town businesses, it would go a long way for the local economy, Hall said.