Shops See Boost From Small Business Saturday

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ST. CHARLES, MO (KTVI) – Black Friday is the precursor to Cyber Monday, when internet sales tend to spike, but before then, there is another special shopping day that is a relatively new tradition: Small Business Saturday.

It was started in 2010 by American Express, which offers $25 cash back to card holders who sign up to support the idea by making it a point to do a little shopping in a little shop instead of the big box stores.

The owner of Main Street Books in St. Charles says Small Business Saturday has made a difference.

"Last year in particular I noticed people coming in and saying I am trying to do as much as I can of my shopping this year at a small local business," said owner Vicki Erwin.

Shoppers say they like the idea.

"Small businesses are really the foundation strong foundation for our country and I think it is a good thing for people to come and support," said shopper Wayne Goodlett.

Even businesses that don`t take American Express are taking advantage of the publicity, offering Small Business Saturday deals of their own.

"We've noticed a lot of people in the past year that didn't know about us have heard about us because of Small Business Saturday, which the city helps to promote,' said Carolyn Holden, owner of Provenance Soapworks.

Shopper Liz Alexander says she enjoyed participating last year.

"I think there are some great deals, great gift ideas and some more personal gift ideas than your typical mall buys," said Alexander.

For small retailers who often see very little extra business on Black Friday weekend, things may be changing as the idea of Small Business Saturday is added to the holiday season calendar.

American Express estimates 100 million shoppers took part last year.