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Black Friday draws small business owner from overseas to SETX
PORT ARTHUR - by Lauren Huet
Large and small businesses look forward to and benefit from Black Friday sales, but one small business owner flies thousands of miles each year to take advantage of Black Friday. She and her husband set up shop at Central Mall in Port Arthur.
"We are from Bethlehem and this is all our work," said Lydia Attalla, who runs Bethlehem Souvenirs in Central Mall. "My husband is the carver."
Attalla and her husband sell olive wood carvings of Jesus, crosses, and nativities. Their sign reads "carvings from the Holy Land."
"We come here to visit our daughter and to have good business here also," said Attalla.
She says they have a lot of customers on Black Friday.
"We give very good prices for them, so many, many people are coming and buying from us," said Attalla. "Thanks God for this."
Attalla says business is better in the U.S. than at home.
"And we go also to Europe, because you know, in Palestine, in Bethlehem, in Jerusalem, there's no business," explained Attalla.
The Marketing Director of Central Mall, Jodie Galloway, says Black Friday sales are a huge part of the mall's business.
"It's not only a time for people to get out and do a good deal of their shopping for the Christmas season, but it's also a good time for our merchants and our stores to do a lot of good sales," said Galloway. "And Black Friday is usually the time that they go from being in the red to in the black. So, it's a very important time for all the retailers in the area."
Galloway says not only do large, national stores benefit from the weekend of sales, small businesses benefit as well.
"Everyone benefits," said Galloway. "Of course you have your national stores that have the big sales, the big discounts, the door-busters, but also the smaller businesses are taking advantage of the holiday shopping as well, and doing their own specials."
Something Attalla can attest to.
"[It's] better here, and people here, especially the American people, appreciate our work, so they buy very good," said Attalla.