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After stroke, local business owner hopes Small Business Saturday will help save store

One local businessman is fighting to keep his store open after spending the last month fighting to regain his health.

LARGO, Fla. — Holiday shopping sales picked up for Black Friday but continue all weekend long.

Small Business Saturday began early for some, like the owner of Comic World in Largo.

Patrick Potter is running a three-day mega sale and hoping for lots of business because, after a month of being closed, he’s fighting to stay open.

He's been in the comic book business for 37 years. But the last month has been a tough one.

“It’s been three weeks since the stroke and the store has been closed the entire time," said Potter. 

Running behind on bills, the comic book fanatic needed to open the business again.

“Right now the store has no power. And we’ve got to get the power turned back on. And get back to life. Despite the stroke, life goes on. And the bill collectors want to be paid. And you know, you’ve got to be able to eat.”

RELATED: Fun and easy ways to support Small Business Saturday in Tampa Bay

Credit: Madison Alworth

With expenses piling up, Potter decided to go all-in on this holiday shopping weekend and offer 50 percent off sales on nearly every item in his store.

“Well, what I wanted to do was to get back to, get the store open again. And try and turn things around while there’s still a chance," he said.

This three-day mega sale is about a lot more than finding the perfect holiday gift -- for both Potter and his customers.

“I saw a post pop up on Facebook, and he said he had a stroke. And I was like, ‘this is horrible.’ And I was like, okay I am going to show up today and see if I can find anything. Just to help keep him going," said a regular Peter, of Peter Pop Art.

With LED lights and iPhone flashlights in hand, customers combed through miles of memorabilia.

“I am hoping that we make enough money where we catch up the rent, catch up the bills...That we take care of all our responsibilities, get back on track. At the very least, give us a fighting chance,” said Potter.

He's fighting for his health, and for the future of his store.

“It fills you with hope, that things can get better. It makes me feel like, we’ve got a good chance of turning the store around. Of course, people have been telling me too, people have been reaching out to me, telling me, you’re going to get better. You’re going to get through this. Don’t give up. And that means everything to me. It really does.”

Comic World is located at 12675 Seminole Blvd in Largo. Click here to learn more.

RELATED: Christmas lights, tree lighting, local shopping: 10 things to do this weekend in Tampa Bay

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