Holiday shopping helping Georgetown businesses on Front Street

Published: Dec. 23, 2013 at 11:14 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 23, 2013 at 11:51 PM EST
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GEORGETOWN, SC (WCSC) - Christmas day marks the three month anniversary of the massive fire on Front Street in Georgetown.

Several businesses and homes were destroyed, but now the area is seeing more business thanks to holiday shoppers. Some have even gone out of their way to help with the recovery.

Linda Abate, owner of The Sly Fox said, "It's amazing, I mean it's absolutely amazing. It's like a real Christmas story. It's just so heartwarming."

Abate's open sign can be seen blowing in the wind from the back of the rubble where several historic buildings once stood.

The business owner says she's overwhelmed by the generosity of holiday shoppers, from locals to visitors.

"Two weekends ago we had a really large extended family with six or seven adults and a whole bunch of children with them who came from Columbia specifically to do all their Christmas shopping," said Abate.

Just next door, the pile of brick seen through the front door of Susan Sanders' shop is a reminder of why she opened two days after the fire.

"We actually opened earlier than we planned just to bring some happiness to the street. It was pretty devastating," said Sanders, owner of The Harbor Shop.

While that unpleasant memory lingers in the minds of many, the busy holiday season has overshadowed the past, helping businesses move on.

"What's really motivated me is the support from the local community. There's just instances almost every day when somebody has made an effort to come here and shop and try and do a little commerce downtown," said Sanders.

Sanders says she couldn't be happier with the recovery of her fellow business owners.

"Amazingly most of them have relocated into the 900 block or 600 blocks. They've been reborn in another place," said Sanders.

Coming into the New Year, businesses along Front Street will be looking forward to the next big shopping seasons

You can still donate to the Front Street relief fund by visiting any First Citizens Bank. The money will help those who lost their homes along with the businesses who had to relocate.

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