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San Antonio business owners gear up for Small Business Saturday

Efforts to get shoppers out of the mall

By now, you've seen news stories about "Black Friday" shopping events. The stories range from unruly mobs to downright dangerous trampling as shoppers rush to get into stores.
But as the Christmas shopping season kicks off, there is another annual shopping event that is nowhere near as chaotic.
Small Business Saturday is a way for shoppers to give the gift of support to locally-owned businesses.
In a fairly new strip of retail shops at the Pearl, owners are seeing results from Small Business Saturday, which started four years ago as a way to get people thinking locally.
It was originated by American Express, and it's always on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, building on the momentum of Black Friday.
"I think, what it is for people, is Black Friday seems to be such a mall day, and Saturday is the day to get people out of the mall," said Leigh Landreth, co-owner of Lee Lee Shoes.
Landreth has seen Small Business Saturday grow.
"In the beginning, it was a slow start, but now I've really seen it rev up a bit, so we're excited about it," Landreth said.
Next door to Lee Lee Shoes is Adelante, which caters to artsy, unique customers with clothing and jewelry. Store manager Kimberlee Taylor agrees that Small Business Saturday is bringing in customers.
"It's definitely gotten better as it's grown," Taylor said.
Ready for Saturday, Taylor wants customers to know what they'll find in the brick and mortar shop.
"Fun gifts and stocking stuffers that you won't necessarily find at the big box stores," she said. "We have some handmade jewelry, some local designers, so just something different and meaningful."
And make no mistake, Small Business Saturday is meaningful to the local business community as well.
"It's nice to have people that consciously shop local or try to stay away from the big box and find something different for the holidays" Taylor said.

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