Small Business Saturday sparks holiday sales

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - While much of the Black Friday fanfare went to big box stores, small retailers took the spotlight. Small Business Saturday is a way to encourage people to buy from mom and pop stores during the holiday season. Some shoppers said they prefer making their purchases at locally owned businesses.

When Beth Felterman goes looking for good deals she does most of her browsing in small stores.

"I like the quaintness and I like where they wait on you more than the hustle and bustle of the crowds," said Felterman.

Business owners appreciate the publicity from Small Business Saturday. They said they need all the help they can to get customers through the doors.

"American Express as a partner has done a great job of getting the word out to get out and support local businesses," said business owner Melanie Peters.

"It's increasingly challenging as a retail business owner. Internet is increasing competition as are all the Black Friday sales."

"You have to compete," said business owner Stacie Broussard.

"You definitely have to be able to offer your customers deals and promotions on items that they're looking for."

Customers said there is something special about shopping in a place where they get to meet the owner.

"I feel like I can usually find items that are a bit more special and unique than the big box stores," said Sarah Rockefeller.

"I like to support the people who own them because they go out of their way to find unique clothes and jewelry," said Angela Griffin.

"It's a little bit more unique and when somebody asked you where you got it it's more fun to talk about."

Jennifer Orlando likes shopping at small shops because "it's just nice to be outdoors and just enjoy the weather and not be stuck in the mall."

The business owners said locally spent dollars are an investment in the community.

Valerie Cunningham opened her boutique right before Cruisin' The Coast.

"I think small business is really what contributes to a thriving economy in communities around the nation. So taking a day out to recognize the hard work that goes into entrepreneurship is important," said Cunningham.

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