Shoppers crowd stores to support local businesses

Barbara Roos of Glen Ellyn explores the selection at The Bookstore 475 N. Main St. Glen Ellyn on a past Small Business Saturday

Market Street in NuLu was packed with people on Saturday while shops like Six Sisters Boutique and Peach Soul Galleria celebrated their first ever Small Business Saturday.

Kunkle, of New Smyrna Beach, was among several shoppers that came to check out the eclectic items at the shop, featuring a Christmas window decorated with pink flamingos.

"Living in Huntington, I would always prefer to support local businesses", Santucci said.

Jacquee Gustafson, 53, who has co-owned the Sayville General Store on Main Street for 21 years, expected to ring up more than 1,000 customers Saturday.

All over the country the streets of downtown were bustling.

"We have a 65% off rack, we have a jewelry basket, and we have some great giveaways as well", Emon says.

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As Black Friday spotlights big box stores Saturday focused more on small businesses.

"It helps tremendously. It gets our name out". They are our community.

Originally launched in 2010 by credit card giant American Express to encourage consumers to support its small-scale merchants, Small Business Saturday has grown into a retail event that encompasses all small shops and restaurants.

The administration says that Texas alone has more than 2.6 million small businesses, that makes up 99.8% of businesses across the state.

"People are busy", said Katy Mcclenanthan, owner of Old Soul Vintage Attire and Records.

"You have to have small businesses to function in a town", said Darla Julin, owner of Fantasies in Frosting.

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"This year was a financial struggle with the storm, so this is our time to recover", Spradley says. "The community is excited; they are happy to be out supporting small businesses, which is fantastic". "We hope we do". Her goal is to make customers feel welcome.

"We do struggle, and it's hard to compete online", said Chris Smith, co-owner of Tailwagerz Pet Supply in north Jackson.

So whether you're shopping for someone you care about, or maybe picking up a little something for yourself, Meinhart says try shopping local for something unique.

Bollum said that she was expecting to sell young adult books, such as a new novel by Rick Riordan, and children's books, such as a new "Diary of a Wimpy Kid".

"It's the most fun day in my opinion".

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