Shoppers were out early on Saturday morning, seeking to support Ashtabula County businesses during Small Business Saturday.

The SBS is a creation of a credit card company and was started many years ago to balance out the shopping often done at large box stores on Black Friday. It has become a fixture in the holiday shopping season.

Proprietors at several businesses said they had good sales on Black Friday, but anticipated stronger Saturday sales.

“[National and local Small Business Saturday organizers] are pumping this,” said Made in Ohio Sales Manager Tyler King on Bridge Street in Ashtabula.

Diane Loomis, of Grove City, Ohio, was checking out t-shirt options at Made in Ohio around 10:30 on Saturday morning. She said she likes to support small businesses when possible.

“My dad was a small business owner,” she said.

T. Gallo, owner of the Garden Center, several doors down from Made in Ohio, said sales were doing well on Saturday morning. “Already there is so much public support,” she said.

Gallo also said her local food store has been supported well by area residents.

Across the street at Carlisle’s in the Harbor, sales manager Marge Pavolino reported strong sales.

“We are doing very well,” she said.

Melissa O’Connell, owner of Catherine’s Christmas in Geneva for the last 29 years, was busy greeting customers to the specialty store that sells a variety of Christmas-related items, including tree ornaments.

She said the Small Business Saturday emphasis is very important for her business.

“It’s huge, it’s huge. It is really encouraging to see all these people supporting small businesses,” she said.

Rebecca Porter, of Perry, is more than a once-a-year supporter of the business.

“I live here ... this is my sixth time this year,” she said of her love of the the Christmas business.

“It makes me happy,” she said.

One of the ways it makes her happy is with Christmas tree ornaments which have the family’s name and the year placed or the ornament to remember each Christmas season.

In downtown Geneva, Adam Weber was celebrating the official grand opening of The Game Goblin at 29 N Broadway.

“We’ve been open since Grape Jamboree Weekend,” he said.

The family business was catering to customers with cupcakes and other special promotions.

Weber said the business sells “analog” games, which include board games, card games and war games.

The business is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Weber said the business buys and sells used board games and other related items.

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