Shoppers support locally owned stores on Small Business Saturday - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Shoppers support locally owned stores on Small Business Saturday

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

With all the hype surrounding big retail chain stores because of Black Friday deals, it may be easy to forget about local mom and pop shops… but not Saturday.

This Saturday was designated as Small Business Saturday, where folks across the country are encouraged to shop locally.

Joe Rowland has been selling home grown produce for three years at the Atherton Farmers' Market in Charlotte.

Some Charlotte city officials kicked off Small Business Saturday at the market, Saturday morning.

Last year, nearly 70 million people spent $5.5 billion nationwide at mom and pop stores according to the US Small Business Administration.

Rowland says he has seen business pick up since Small Business Saturday began in 2010.

"It's been good. I think I can definitely tell the difference in my business compared to a year or year and a half ago," said Rowland.

City officials say small businesses are the backbone of every community and the more you shop at locally owned stores, the more money you put back into area.

"On average, more than 40% of every dollar spent at a local retailer returns to the local economy compared to just 14% for international chains," said Charlotte Mayor Patsy Kinsey.

Shopper Zen Schell says she makes a conscious effort everyday to shop locally, but even more on Small Business Saturday.

She says knowing that her money is going back into her neighborhood isn't the only advantage of her shopping small.

"The people really care about the things that their carrying in their store and that makes the shopping experience more personal," said Schell.

As for Rowland, he has a message for all shoppers who may want to head to big chain retailers the next time they step out.

"Get out there and support local farms, local food and restaurants or hopefully support people who are supporting those groups as well," he said.

According to the US Small Business Administration, America's 28 million small businesses create two out of every three new private sector jobs and officials there say half of working Americans either own or working for a small business.

 

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