Shopping incentive for smaller stores

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - It's a new, nationwide strategy aiming to give small businesses the economic boost large retailers get from Black Friday. The Small Business Saturday is a campaign encouraging people to shop small, locally-owned businesses.

When Kathleen Brown opened her shop in Ocean Springs, she realized just how hard it is to be an entrepreneur in this economy,  "It's tough. It's been a struggle. I've been in business for a year and a half and it's been a tough economy so I'm struggling always."

With so many struggling small businesses owners around the country, the Small Business Saturday campaign has flooded its shop local message on television and on the Internet.

"I think it's wonderful," said business owner Tori Davidson,  "I actually posted it on Facebook this morning because I thought what a great idea. Let's get the word out and Saturday can be our day."

Small business owners say they often feel overlooked on Black Friday. So it's nice to have their own day when they're the center of attention.

Davidson said, "Yesterday was I would say the big box day and everybody got out and supported the big box stores. But the small businesses really need support. Because, think about what if your favorite small shop that you love to go to had go out of business. How would you feel? So if you go out and support your favorite local business, I think everybody on the coast and in town is going to prosper from it."

Shopper Stephen Watson agreed, "Small town businesses are what supports the economy locally and not somewhere far off. And, you get more of a personal level with the merchant and it's really neat to have a relationship with the merchants."

American Express is one of the main sponsors for Small Business Saturday. The credit card company offered incentives to customers who shopped with mom and pop stores.

Copyright 2010 WLOX. All rights reserved.