Small Business Saturday helps local store boost holiday shopping - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Small Business Saturday helps local store boost holiday shopping

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Black Friday is behind us and Saturday was all about letting the smaller businesses shine.

Small businesses in Kennewick Saturday were thrilled about Small Business Saturday and the response they're getting from people this year.

The program aims to promote shopping at small businesses over a weekend that often focuses on Black Friday deals at large chains.

The cha-ching of a cash register is always a welcome noise at small businesses and this Small Business Saturday that sound rang out at local businesses in Downtown Kennewick.

At Swanky Baby, owner Jenna Boogerd said the event makes a difference.

"As a small business owner in this economy, I mean any bit of business we appreciate. It's very important to us that the local people are shopping local versus online or even in the big box stores," Boogerd said.

American Express started Small Business Saturday in 2010 and gives cardholders a twenty-five dollar credit on their statement if they shop at a small business Saturday.

"This year I think it really finally took off. People kind of got the gist of what's going on. I participated in the very first year, three years ago when I'd opened up and there wasn't a lot of recognition about it going on," Boogerd said.

At the Euro Bistro and Chocolate Café they said it's helped them get more new customers through the doors.

"To help small businesses get off their feet, especially brand new businesses has been really important. So it's been great to see a lot of new faces here," said Robin Craven.

Small Business Saturday provides a different holiday shopping experience than Black Friday and local stores are happy to check their products off buyers' wish lists.

"You're getting face to face, working right with the store owners or the buyers, people that can really help you find what you're looking for, not only that, but show you how to use it and use it properly or recommend something you've never even see before because we know a little bit more about our product," Boogerd said.

According to American Express more than 100 million people took part in Small Business Saturday in 2011. Business owners hope that with the program in it's third year, even more people will support the movement.

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