AUSTIN, Texas - "This is one of our biggest days of the year" ,says Monkey See Monkey Do! Employee, Benjamin Akers.
Small Business Saturday is an initiative that started more than a decade ago.
Monkey See Monkey Do! says the amount of shoppers participating in the cause increases every year. This year thousands were expected and the staff prepared for the rush.
"We are a very small crew in terms of owned and operated it’s just four of us and each of us contributes in our own way", says Akers.
"It is super beautiful just seeing everybody coming together, putting like minds into the same thing, let’s all contribute", says shopper Jocelyn Bustos.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, last year Small Business Saturday brought in close to $18 billion to independent retailers and restaurants across the country.
"I think it is very important that we put our time and money into those things as well, because that is how they feed their families, essentially how they feed themselves", says Bustos.
Monkey See Monkey Do offers gifts and collectible items. According to store employees, the majority of the merchandise cannot be found in the larger retail stores.
"It’s more effort from somebody and the way that their personality is put into their business, there is more thought into it, like as simple as shipping stuff out and they write little notes it is very orchestrated for the customer to feel how they put the love into their creation", says Bustos.
"When people see those things on display a toy that they haven’t held in their hands for 20-30 years , there is a kind of magic to it and we just love spending all week long searching for these rarities to bring in here whether they take it home and purchase it or not", says Akers.