AUSTIN - While many clamor for the deals on Black Friday, hundreds of Austinites went to stores the day after for Small Business Saturday.
The day started nationwide in 2010 to help local businesses compete with big box stores during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
"I did a little research online and I looked for local shopping, local businesses," said Amy Davidson, a small business owner from Fort Worth who was shopping in Austin on Saturday.
Davidson’s goal of finding clothing you couldn’t buy elsewhere brought her to Luxe Apothetique, one of several mom and pop stores within the 2nd Street District Downtown.
"You look for the local artists, the independents that give you a little bit of creativity versus a big corporation that dictates design to hundreds of thousands of people," she said.
Luxe Apothetique offers several items made by Austin-based companies and items were marked down for Small Business Saturday.
"All of our sale racks are marked down an additional 70 percent I think," keyholder Dayna Seiffert said.
Terra Toys in North Austin was another business that participated.
“Being a mom and pop store originally everybody here is really close family,” said manager Billy Zimmerman.
Terra Toys works to cater to their customers in a personalized way.
"We like to show them demos and play with the toys and we actually get on first name basis with our customers,” Zimmerman said.
Zimmerman said Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to branch out and reach community members they otherwise may not have met.
"There is quite a few people here and they are paying attention to us,” shopper Bill Prange said.
He and his wife Valerie say that’s the kind of experience they look for. With big box store advertisements and online shopping at your fingertips, small shops can sometimes be forgotten.
"You forget that these places are special too and when you come here you realize the uniqueness of them,” Valerie Prange said.
Terra Toys has been operating for over 30 years, and Zimmerman feels the connection between customers and employees build the foundation of a successful business.
"Everybody who works here really enjoys what they do and really push to do more,” Zimmerman said.
The National Retail Federation predicts more than $655 billion dollars will be spent on shopping in the last two months of 2016. City leaders are hoping Austinites will spend their money locally. They've launched a Spend Smart, Spend Local campaign.
"Local businesses are very important, they're the backbone of our country," Sandra Hughes said. “I mean there's too many big corporations, it needs to come small again."
"It's where you live, it's where you should shop," Anderson said.
One tip city officials are giving to small business owners this holiday shopping season is create an online presence. They say it can make all the difference in driving business in.
GO HERE for more information about shopping local in Austin.
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