ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Black Friday may be over -- but the push for holiday shopping is not quite done, especially for smaller businesses. Local stores are participating in Small Business Saturday, a national movement to drive shoppers to their doors.
One small business says it gave out gift bags Saturday morning to the first few people who came in, as a way to get shoppers to come in and support the local economy.
Bella Boutique has been in business for three years, and is one of the stores participating in Small Business Saturday. Its owner, Annie Ciszak Pazar, says because Bella doesn't sell items online and isn't tourist-based, local support keeps the store going.
Pazar adds that small businesses cannot compete with the deals that big-box stores provide, but says they can instead offer unique and one-of-a-kind items.
According to a small-business advocacy group, for every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 is returned to the community. One shopper says that's a reason why she frequently visits local boutiques.
“When you have those big-box stores come in, the community feeling is gone in a sense,” said shopper Suki Miller.
“The people who live in this community are our best clientele,” said Bella’s Kathleen Ahern-Karnes. “They know the value of what we provide, and they seek us out, and we'd love to see more.”
Small Business Saturday was created by OPEN, a small-business initiative operated by American Express.
Contact Christine Kim at email@example.com