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Downtown Stores Prepare for Final Christmas Rush - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Downtown Stores Prepare for Final Christmas Rush

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With only four shopping days left until Christmas, stores on the downtown mall are preparing for the big spike in holiday sales this weekend.

"This is the most important time of year for retailers whether they're in Charlottesville or Biloxi, Mississippi,” said Tim Hulbert, president of the Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce.

While things are starting to pick up - Dana Mook, who works at Jean Theory, says the shop has been busy - the holiday season did come with its struggles for some like Quilts Unlimited owner Joan Fenton.

"It's been a little slow because every Saturday the weather has been awful so we've lost that Saturday business,” Fenton said.

But that's just a small downfall of what will end a successful year for small businesses in the area. According to the Charlottesville Chamber of Commerce, retail sales this year for those small businesses will top $2.3 billion in Charlottesville and Albemarle County alone.

"That'll be about a 2 or 3 percent increase of what it was last year and in fact it is the second-highest ever,” Hulbert said.

Fenton says, while things may have started off slow, over the last few days her business has doubled what it had been doing the rest of the month - another sign of why businesses say it's important to support your community.

"You're supporting your friends and family working in town but you're also keeping the economy moving here in Charlottesville and keeping the money in our local's pockets,” Mook said.

The chamber of commerce says Charlottesville and Albemarle have made it through a very difficult time and have had a good bounce back over the last 18 months.

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