Small Business Saturday sends foot traffic to local shops - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Small Business Saturday sends foot traffic to local shops

(WMC-TV) – Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday, is a day devoted to local businesses.

It started in 2010, when a credit card company wanted to encourage people to use their credit cards at local businesses.

Now it's becoming a trend...spend money here and it stays here.

It's opening weekend for Sweet Noshings in Overton Square.

"When I was a child I told my parents jokingly that I was gonna own a candy store and I got tired of the travel and decided we wanted to do something here in Memphis. So I took a leap and did something that I loved and that's candy," store owner Leena Asbridge.

It's also Small Business Saturday, which means every shop in Overton Square is getting a little more foot traffic.

It's a day devoted to shopping local...something Emily Thrash is embracing.

"We're trying some of the flavored popcorns and buying Christmas presents," said Thrash.  "It's definitely more fun than Black Friday, it feels better.  It felt better for the economy and it's more fun to see unique shops than just trying to buy the cheapest thing possible."

Just down the way in Cooper Young, we found Jenean Morrison who set up a pop-up art shop for the weekend.

"Most of the people that have come in have been people who have specifically been looking for some unique things for Christmas gifts and for themselves," said Morrison.  "What a great idea because it's local."

But Saturdays event was nationwide.  President Obama even participated.  He was purchased books from a local store in Washington D.C.

The impact of Small Business Saturday is being felt across the country.  Last year alone, consumers spent $5.5 billion on Small Business Saturday.

The trend is making a difference in areas like Overton Square and Cooper Young, encouraging growth and community.

"Walking down here this year and seeing all the new shops is very exciting. It makes me feel like the neighborhood has kind of come up around me and it feels good," said Thrash.

Another benefit to Small Business Saturday, 51.1 percent of local businesses' revenues return to the community.

Something shoppers and business owners can both agree make a difference. 

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