Local business owners are asking customers to turn their focus from big box, chain stores to mom-and-pop shops for their holiday shopping as part of Small Business Saturday this weekend.
There is no money in the budget for big time advertising or Black Friday-like "doorbuster" hours, so in an effort to help neighborhood stores, like Fundamentally Toys in Rice Village, American Express is promoting Small Business Saturday nationwide for holiday shopping.
"This is great because there just some things we can't carry because we can't compete against their price point," said Andy Tinney, a sales associate with Fundamentally Toys "The employees tend to be more knowledgeable about what they are selling they are more friendly and engaging, they're willing to help."
According to the Small Business Association, out of every $100 spent at a local small business, $68 goes to the community. Many customers say that alone is motivating.
"There's a lot of stores we just drive right past and we don't know how good they are till we stop and go in," said one small-business shopper.
As an extra incentive, business owners get $100 worth of free advertising on Facebook if they register and participate with the American Express campaign. If customers register, they will get a $25 credit on one purchase made on Saturday.
Only the first 100,000 registered customers will receive the $25 credit when their American Express credit card is used. You can register online at smallbusinesssaturday.com.