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Small Business Saturday fosters local shopping

Posted November 30, 2013

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— Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a new tradition is forming in support of shopping locally. This year marked the fourth annual Small Business Saturday, a day shoppers are encouraged to hit the streets in search of great deals at neighborhood businesses.

Cathy East owns Lily's, a 3-year-old home accessories retailer in historic downtown Apex. She said the unique items and relaxing atmosphere are what shoppers enjoy the most. 

"I hear all the time, people saying I have never seen anything like this. Where do you find your goods," East said.

Cathy East Small businesses encourage consumers to shop local

Shopper John Aiken said he prefers Small Business Saturday in effort to avoid the crowds. 

"This time of year people tend to flock more to the malls," Aiken said. "They need to remember that there are smaller businesses."

All along Salem Street Saturday, shoppers sought unique gifts.

Susan McManus appreciated the inventory at Aria Gifts.

"These businesses are the ones that we really should be supporting," McManus said. "This time of year and always."

Small business owners and employees know they offer something not found in the mall.

"It is a relationship, not just a sale," said small business owner, Gia Miele. 

The group, Shop Local Raleigh, performed a recent study which showed for every dollar consumers spend at national chains only 13.6 percent of national chains' revenues are recirculated locally, while 51.1 percent of local businesses' revenues return to the community.

Small Business Saturday was established by American Express in 2010 in an effort to recognize the small businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.


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