Uptown Greenville Umbrella Market returns during Small Business Week

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Today several small businesses had the chance to show their stuff at the return of Greenville’s Umbrella Market.

The return of the market falls right in the middle of National Small Business week.

Sharon Smith owes a small business and said it’s a labor of love.

“We started in this business out of kind of unfortunate circumstances when my husband was laid off back in 2003,” said Smith. “Instead of trying to find another job and moving away this business came available.”

Smith has owned Mackey’s Ferry peanuts for more than 13 years.

She says it’s not always easy.

“Most people who have a regular job that somebody else pays them to go to they get taken care of by healthcare, health insurance, they have a retirement, they have benefits and a lot of things. We don’t have those things,” said Smith.

Smith said the most crippling thing for her business pay roll taxes.

“Having those at a lower rate would be great. You know we pay a lot toward everything and so there’s not a whole lot left,” said Smith. “I would like to be a nice profitable business and raise everybody up. We could do this if it was an open market.”

Hinting fewer taxes could allow her to allocate money differently.

Smith said, “The other kind of system that has been in place does not work because it really keeps people from actually going and being the best they can be and getting the most that they can.”

Robin Ashley organizes the Umbrella Market.

She says it’s meant to inspire future small business owners

“We have a lot of people who start here at the umbrella market. They test out their products they figure out their strategies, and from there they get a good foundation and can figure out if they want to take this and open up a store front.”

For Smith it’s events like these that help her business and ultimately eases the pressure.

“Every night sometimes I wake up thinking about how I’m going to make it. I have people come and people go and I try to keep good people but different circumstances make people go to a different place where they can get better things,” said Smith.

Smith says it’s that constant reminder that so many peoples income depend on her business that keeps her going.

If you would like to support small businesses in our area the Umbrella Market is a great way to do it.

They are held Wednesday evenings from 5 – 8 p.m.

They run throughout the summer to the end of August.

The Umbrella Market attracts more than 60 fresh produce, artisan, art, and local craft beer vendors.

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