• Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to buy local

    Updated:

    Thanksgiving is over, Black Friday is behind us, and now local shops are hoping to score big on Small Business Saturday.

    The day was created by American Express in 2010 to encourage consumers to support local businesses - especially during the holidays.

    "It's meant to segue that Black Friday business into Saturday and the small businesses in small towns and districts," said Ginger Brown. 

    According to the office of Governor Charlie Baker, $0.68 of every locally-spent dollar stays local, compared to just $0.43 spent at national retailers.

    "Shopping local helps build our local economies and support the businesses who employ 1.4 million Massachusetts residents," Gov. Baker said.

    In Massachusetts this year, there's a #BuyInMA social media campaign to remind online users to shop local.

    Friday, Elizabeth Ward and her four-year-old son Jason visited Boing! Toy Shop in Jamaica Plain to gather some ideas for Christmas and birthday presents.

    Instead of going to a major retailer, they went to the small shop on Centre Street to help support the family-owned business.

    "There's stuff here I wouldn't necessarily find there, these are thoughtfully found toys they're ordering," said Ward. "Putting my money into that business is putting money into my neighborhood."

    Unlike Black Friday, where shoppers will flock to big box stores and malls, Small Business Saturday is designed to spread the idea of buying local.

    "We have incentives to get people to come in," said Chris Burgan, the manager at Boing! Toy Shop. "We have a prize wheel, we have a raffle going. Lots of local businesses are doing fun things like that." 

    Burgan said shopping local provides a more personal experience - and the money consumers spend stays local. 

    "It's shown that 10% of shopping at small businesses feeds back into the community and improves things for everybody, businesses and residents," said Brown.

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