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Major national stores are typically the main focus for Black Friday, but owners of smaller shops in downtown Bel Air said they also drew their share of visitors this past weekend.

So how was the Black Friday shopping on Bel Air’s Main Street?

“Phenomenal, better than last year,” said Kim Norris, owner of Tiddlywinks toy and bookstore.

She said although actual sales figures were about the same as this time last year, the number of customers stayed unusually high throughout the weekend.

“I think our experience here for the Christmas season is a lot more pleasant. It’s a lot more personable, we have free gift wrapping. We know our products inside and out,” she said. “I think the economy is picking up, too. Things are definitely looking up.”

Toni McCracken, at Tiger Lily Boutique, said she was overwhelmed with customers, even more so than during the Holiday Open House event she scheduled earlier in November.

“Black Friday was really amazing in here,” McCracken said. “We were busy all day long. It was a revolving door and a store full of people. We sold out of a lot of clothing.”

However, she was not completely surprised by this weekend’s success.

“We always do really good business on Black Friday,” she said. “I do believe it was a little bit higher this year.”

At Heartbeat clothing and accessories store, Krista Lewis, daughter of owners Susan and Ken Rodriguez, said that store’s business was up at least 10 to 15 percent, partly due to its five-year anniversary celebration, with sales, raffles and food.

About the the rest of the holiday season, Lewis said, “we are hoping it’s better.”

Store owners also said they heard from people trying to avoid a more hectic shopping experience.

“Some people said they are trying to do all their shopping locally,” Elise Smith, at Lavalier Boutique and Gifts, said.

Barbara Burke, at The Bead Box, heard the same thing.

“I said, ‘Are you fighting the mall?’ They said, ‘No, we don’t like to go to the mall. We like to support the small businesses in town,’” she said, pointing out the mall was packed.

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