Small businesses hoping for big profits on Saturday

Mom and Pop shops depend on local shoppers to keep doors open

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's the one day during the holiday shopping season where mom-and-pop stores gain the national spotlight.

Annmarie Phillips, the owner of Jane Do Boutique in Five Points, says Small Business Saturday is a way for her store and others to compete with large corporate chains who are offering slashed prices. Phillips says shoppers get a different feeling when they walk through her front door.

"We carry products that are made with pride and by families," Phillips said. "A lot of people now have a bigger conscience about where they're spending and how they're spending and who's getting paid to make that product."

According to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, 41 percent of shoppers plan to shop on Small Business Saturday. Most of the people surveyed say they're doing it to support small businesses.

However, the survey also says discounts are more important than ever. 65 percent of people surveyed said they want to take advantage of store deals and promotions. Large stores chains can afford to offer major deals and still turn a profit. 

It's not that easy for smaller stores. That's why Phillips is relying on good customer service to generate more sales. 

"Do what you love. Be authentic with how you do it and really connect with your customer," Phillips said.

Customers who were at Jane Do Boutique said that type of thinking truly does make a difference.

"Many times boutique owners will do extra things like gift wrapping or they'll do special ordering," said Tonya Thomas, a customer at Phillips' store.

Small business owners also say that supporting locally-owned stores helps the local economy.

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