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      Report: Small businesses on the rebound

      COLUMBIA (WACH)-- Small business owners are getting an early holiday gift. A new report shows things are looking up for mom and pop stores.

      According to the National Federation of Independent Business, small business optimism is up for the third consecutive month.

      State NFIB director Benjamin Homeyer says while that's good news, businesses still need to be cautious.

      "Growth is still slow. It's relatively flat," said Homeyer. "The big thing is we see a light at the end of the tunnel. We're still in the tunnel, but for the first time in a while it's not another train coming at you."

      Melody Ingwersen knows the highs and lows of being a small business owner.

      Her store, Creative Kids Toy Shop in Five Points, managed to ride out the current economic storm. These days, she's starting to feel more optimistic.

      "We are really glad to come out of Thanksgiving and see people shopping at levels for Christmas that we would like to see," said Ingwersen.

      Ingwersen says she'll keep offering customers the personalized service they've received for 25-years at her shop.

      That lives up to her motto of building relationships that keep bringing people back.