BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ)– As big retailers prepare for Black Friday, small businesses are ready to compete for customers.

Small businesses offer a unique experience. That includes providing essential customer service, offering multiple special items, and highlighting other business owners.

Blair County Chamber of Commerce President Joe Hurd said there are around a thousand businesses in the county. These owners are constantly finding ways to be competitive.

“Small businesses offer many items that large businesses don’t,” Hurd said. “I think the small businesses in the area have looked at ways that they can be competitive.”

Depending on the store, they could offer items that are good for stocking stuffers or small gifts. Humble and Kind Boutique Owner Ashley Hinterberger said she makes an effort always to shop locally.

In her boutique, they sell lines of clothing, hats, shoes, and gift items. Additionally, Hinterberger highlights products created by other business owners, which she said it’s important to lift each other.

“I think those unique items, especially because we’re boutiques, we only carry a limited amount,” Hinterberger said. “Not everybody in the area is going to have the same thing. It’s more you come in, you see it. You think of someone who would love it, and you buy it on the fly. It’s a unique thing we try to bring to the area.”

A common misconception is small businesses are more expensive. Hinterberger said she controls her prices and a simple ten dollars goes far. Hurd said it’s valuable for people to come out to see the prices for themselves.

“I think a lot of people think, well, small businesses are going to charge me a lot more than a large business is going to; that’s a misconception,” Hurd said. “A lot of people until they actually come in and see what small businesses have to offer.”

Small businesses are also key to community growth and revenue. Wildfire Boutique Owner Emily McCarty said it’s common that business owners are asked to contribute to events.

These contributions could be sponsorships, giveaways, school donations, or the Symphony. That means all revenue they receive is put back into the community for cultural purposes.

“A lot of small business owners throughout the year are asked to give donations for local community-type things, so we’re constantly trying to put back money into our community,” McCarty said. “So from shopping here, you can provide that revenue for us to do so.”

Essentially, small businesses provide a personal shopping experience. Hinterberger said she dances and gets excited when customers come in.

“One of the most important things is that we try hard to provide not only with a product but something that you truly love,” Hinterberger said. “You get one on one service with a small business. Honestly, we do happy dances when customers come in.”

Black Friday also begins the Shop Small Crawl in Blair County.