Sonoma shops hoping for a successful 'Small Business Saturday' after wildfires

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In the wake of Black Friday deals, Small Business Saturday was the chance to shop and support local merchants.

Since the wildfires, business owners in Sonoma County need customers and this year, those wishes were answered.

It was hard finding a parking space at the Sonoma town plaza, it was crowded on Saturday.

"It's great to see people on the street, the more the better and we're grateful," said Dan W. Gallison, owner of The Candlestick.

It's a stark comparison to the days and weeks after the wildfires when Sonoma's plaza was without power and virtually deserted.

RELATED: Santa Rosa's small business owners hoping for a successful 'Small Business Saturday' post fires

"It's great to see people supporting us today," said Thrace Bromberger, manager at Walt Pinot Noir tasting room.

In Santa Rosa, downtown streets were less crowded but customers were doing their part by supporting downtown merchants.

"I feel strongly about supporting local businesses anyway but with the fires, even more," said Deana Abromowitz, Santa Rosa resident.

The Santa Rosa Metro Chamber of Commerce is offering a holiday shopping passport filled with discount coupons to local shops, restaurants, and bars.

Some merchants say the wildfire tragedy has hit them hard.

"My business has been very bad, I've lost many customers who lost homes and have relocated from the Fountaingrove area," said Mirage Florist owner, Sharzad Mo.

Many downtown Santa Rosa merchants are hopeful and optimistic customers will return this holiday season, they say they're open for business.
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