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      Darlington retailers ask you to shop local on Black Friday

      It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Darlington.

      Store fronts are decked out for Black Friday.

      Eva Lyles owns Raven's Closet.

      She hopes shoppers will give the mom and pop stores a chance.

      "Traditionally, we're not that busy on Black Friday. I would like to see a lot more people shop downtown and in the small businesses and things that would help out a lot," said Lyles.

      It's help for not just the businesses, but the towns. "The backbone of our area for the longest time in small towns like Darlington, Cheraw, Bennettsville, Marion , Mullins and Hartsville are the mom and pop stores on the Main Street on the square," said Howard Garland, Darlington City Manager.

      Pam Thomas has run Main Street Jewelers for 14 years.

      She expects to sell a few diamonds, but not early in the day.

      "I think everybody goes to those early morning sales and then come here to shop us because we aren't busy," said Thomas.

      Merchants say they have great deals, but realize they can't compete with the chains and big box stores. They can provide shoppers with great hospitality and customer service.

      Thomas said, "You get more one-on-one, you know."

      The merchants hope this is the Black Friday that will break with tradition.

      You can call your area's chamber of commerce to get a listing of local stores in your area.