Small Business Saturday

Big retail stores have Black Friday, online has Cyber Monday, but Saturday, it's all about the small businesses.

Judy and Len Lester have owned the Escape Fine Crafts and Gifts store on Main Street in Georgetown for 19 years. "We represent over 200 different artists and craftsman from all around the country, everything is handmade, so that makes it really unique," Judy said.

According to American Express who created Small Business Saturday, customers spent more than $14 billion at small, independent stores last year. Julie said that's what Shop Small is all about "They're ready to make sure the small businesses in town are well supported and loved."

By shopping local you're more than tripling your contribution and participation in Austin's economy.

According to the Austin Independent Business Alliance for every $100 you spend at a chain store, 13 of that stays in the local economy. When you shop at a local business, $45 stays in the local economy.

"In a small community like this that's what really keeps it driving. Whenever the bigger stores dominate then smaller mom and pops cannot succeed," Julie said.

Many customers said they don't mind paying slightly more to support an independent business.

Virginia Lazenby prefers shopping at the stores on Main Street in Georgetown, especially when it comes to gifts. "It's unique things when you buy them. It's just not like everything else and to help the merchants who give so much to our community," she said.

Len and Judy Lester said when small businesses succeed, America succeeds. "Many of their folks, as well as ours are American producers of products. So it's keeping funds in America rather than overseas."

There is also a social media campaign for Small Business Saturday. If you shop local, you can take a picture with your item and use #ShopSmall.

Saturday, the Austin Independent Business Alliance is hosting a Holiday Shop Hop all over Austin. You can get more information here or on its Facebook page here.

And for more information about Small Business Saturday you can go here.

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