Thrifty shoppers and discount seekers in Dawson County have a variety of options for Black Friday, the unofficial start of the annual holiday shopping season.
The occasion draws its name from an accounting term that indicates retailers have enough sales to put them “in the black.”
And that’s exactly what Linda Williams, president of the Dawson County Chamber of Commerce, expects will happen.
“What we’ll see is a sales tax increase from that day of sales from visitors who have come here to shop our merchants, support our local businesses and boost county revenues,” Williams said.
Those businesses include the 140 merchants housed at the North Georgia Premium Outlets.
General manager Heather Halpern said the outlet mall’s Midnight Madness sale ties in with Black Friday. Shoppers sometimes arrive as early as 9 p.m. Thanksgiving to begin shopping.
“The event grows every year,” Halpern said. “It has become an area tradition.
“We have people who come every year, and we welcome new shoppers every year as well.”
Halpern added that momentum builds each week in November.
“There’s a great vibe out there right now,” she said. “Shoppers can’t wait.”
Across the street, Wal-Mart also will feature sales that begin at midnight after Thanksgiving.
The benefits of retail sales on Black Friday have a “multiplier effect,” Williams said.
“The businesses that first benefit from sales deposit those funds in local banks and pay their employees,” Williams said. “Those employees turn around and spend money back into our own economy.
“Dawson County is blessed with many amenities that appeal to tourists, but some of the greatest attractions are the shopping opportunities.”