WNY Shops Hope to Cash in on Small Business Saturday

WESTERN NEW YORK - The National Retail Federation estimates 140 million people will shop this weekend, and small businesses are hoping to get a piece of that spending action.

"Small Business Saturday" is the day after Black Friday, and it's dedicated to supporting locally-owned businesses as opposed to big box stores or large, national retailers.

American Express started the push to shop small and shop local in 2010 as a way to help smaller businesses during the economic downturn.

According to the National Federation of Independent Business, a non-partisan, non-profit group, 9 out of 10 small business owners give back to the communities they are in.

"I think people enjoy shopping local because there's a greater sense of gratification knowing the money you're spending goes to these family owned businesses that work really hard to get through the holiday season," said Alex Sgroi, marketing director at Prima Oliva in the Village of Hamburg.

The name "Small Business Saturday" may have come from American Express, but communities across the country have made it their own.

Hamburg tied its shopping spree in with a holiday parade. East Aurora is well-known for its locally-owned shops along Main Street. The village held its event Saturday, complete with Santa and the Grinch. The Village of Medina in Orleans County brought a hint of nostalgia to its event. The Old Tyme Christmas Parade of Lights featured a brilliantly-lit Main Street and events at different stores.

President Obama continued his tradition of supporting small business Saturday with a stop at an independent bookstore in Washington. He said he had a long list of books to buy for everyone ages 5 to 52.


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