Small Business Saturday highlights personal, hometown stores

Small Business Saturday only began six years ago, but it's already become a key part of the holiday shopping season. The day highlights the advantages small businesses have over other retailers.

It was started by American Express, but has now become a bit of a movement. One that business welcome as online retailers eat up more and more market share.

The sidewalks and streets around 50th and France were packed with holiday shoppers on Small Business Saturday. A welcome sight for the small businesses tucked into the shopping district.

Linda Getchell runs Shop In The City along with her children. They sell everything from apparel to cards.

“Everything is vetted and edited through the store, so if you buy a French soap from us, or buy a candle, it's everything that we love, because if you don't love it, it's hard to sell things you don't love,” Getchell said.

They hope Small Business Saturday highlights what stores can offer as opposed to the big box retailers that get the attention on Black Friday or the e-retailers that will get millions of clicks on Cyber Monday.

“It's really nice to build up friendships and relationships, and I think, for us, the biggest thing is looking people in the eye, visiting and I think it validates all of us,” Getchell said.

While many small businesses compete online, some like Patina have decided not to. Instead, the business says they want to focus on a more personal experience.

“We do not have a web store, because we really want to focus on that experience of a brick-and-mortar store and give that personal experience,”

These business owners say shopping local offers another benefit.

“Every dollar you spend with a family business is truly from your house to our house. We value it, we appreciate it, and we hope that we can be sustaining good friends to the community,” Getchell said.

Estimates from the small business survey show 95 million customers took part in Small Business Saturday last year spending more than $16 billion. That is up from $14.3 billion the year before.

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