Small Business Saturday 2012 sales about the same as last year - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Small Business Saturday 2012 sales about the same as last year

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OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) -

Just as Black Friday winds down, Small Business Saturday Kicks into high gear. Some business owners said sales are about in line with what they were last year.

People made their way from shop to shop in Downtown Ocean Springs to take advantage of special sales and discounts for Small Business Saturday.

Mary Lou Zasso said, "I wanted to pick up a few Christmas things that were unusual."

"It's important to support small businesses as I'm a small business owner myself," said Carlos Smith. "It gives the locals the opportunity to meet the artisans and the creators of what is being sold."

Small Business Saturday encourages people to support small business by buying their Christmas gifts from the mom and pops.

"The smaller businesses have things that the large big box stores don't carry," said Andy Holesha. " They are very unique to the area and they're great for tourism and they have a sense of charm. A southern charm kind of thing and the things that you just can't find anywhere else."

Some business owners said having a unique selection of merchandise is an important strategy for competing with the large chains.

Store owner Lynn Lott said, "We are different from everyone else because we do have those unique items that you can find."

Shop owners said they also try to spend time getting to know the people who come into their stores and develop a strong customer rapport.

"We have a customer list with most of our customers and their sizes and what they like. We just try to keep up with it," store owner Peter Grant said. "It means all the world. People want to do business with people the like and trust and try to be likeable and we're definitely trustworthy."

Theo Blake stopped to do some shopping while visiting from California. "You get some good customer service at small businesses. Kind of personal touch. So it just makes you feel good when you come into a small business establishment."

The small business owners said they appreciate the customers who shop with them, and without their support they wouldn't be able to stay in business.

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