BUFFALO, N.Y. — Those shopping in Buffalo the day after Thanksgiving and on Small Business Saturday won't have to pay for parking at on-street metered spaces and several city-owned parking lots in retail districts.

Mayor Byron Brown says the city will suspend parking meter enforcement on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday to encourage people to check out the shops that drive Buffalo's economy. 

Business owners say they're hoping the move will help shoppers realize that parking downtown isn't as scary as they may think. 

"Parking is a deterrent mostly for people coming from the suburbs. They're concerned about tickets, about finding parking and then once they're here, they're very anxious that once they're in the building, their parking is going to run out or they parked in the wrong place. So something like this for the holiday season is a huge help to us," says Alyson O'Conner, co-owner of Rust-Belt Love.

“Buffalo is open for business. As we continue to foster an inclusive and equitable City of Opportunity, we encourage residents and visitors to shop local and visit all the great retail stores – both big and small- that Buffalo has to offer.  We have great shops and wonderful dining options in our City’s 20 shopping districts. Come celebrate the holidays in Buffalo. We look forward to seeing you this season,” said Mayor Brown.

Mayor Brown says the city will also offer free parking from December 21 through January 1 to make life easier for shoppers. 

That includes city lots on Allen, Bryant, Utica and Forest Avenue. 

RELATED: Survey: Most Americans plan to steer clear of shopping debt this holiday season

RELATED: These credit card strategies can help you save big on the holidays this year

RELATED: Black Friday 2019 ads: An early look at deals from top retailers