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HAMMONTON - Small Business Saturday, a day aimed at supporting local businesses, meant big dividends for downtown Hammonton.

At Country Clutter, regular Karen Deanley was not only there to support local businesses but also because she hates shopping at malls.

“I avoid them like the plague, especially on Thanksgiving weekend,” said Deanley.

Country Clutter specializes in country and primitive décor that has been handmade, making every item in the store unique. It is obvious when you walk into the store that owners Robert and Leyda Torres are passionate about their business. “I love it, we love it,” said Leyda. Robert Torres also makes some of the items that they sell in their store.

Small Business Saturday was not just a day for the adults but children as well. Donna Melder brought her grandson Cyrus, 2, to the Toy Market. “We come here every once in a while but especially on Small Business Saturday,” said Melder.

Outside of Chroma Beauty Bar, Heidi Stewart of Buena browsed through a rack of clothes. For Stewart, shopping at small businesses is more convenient than malls. “The closest mall is about 30 minutes from where I live, whereas Hammonton is only 15 minutes,” said Stewart. “It’s less crowds and easier parking and I really like the boutique stores. Sa Dee’s is my favorite.” said Stewart.

Susan Mamgano and Betty Castree stopped by Kitchen 19 to check out what was happening there.

“I knew it was Small Business Saturday and I called Susan to say let’s go walk around” said Castree. “I have lived in Hammonton for 30 years and this is my first time at Kitchen 19 and walking around the downtown,” said Mamgano.

Many stores across town offered special events or deals to mark the day. At Behind the Moon, Santa was there for picture taking and sharing milk and cookies, while Bow Wow Boutique offered 20 percent off selected merchandise, to name just a few.

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