Gearing up for Small Business Saturday

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Small Business Saturday is a day for small businesses to offer deals and discounts. More importantly, it’s a day to get people into their store.

The “big-box” stores are jam packed with shoppers looking to get deals on Black Friday; but on Saturday, smaller businesses will have their day to reel in customers.

The event started in 2010 and has since been successful. In 2011, it was recognized by the U.S. Senate. In 2012, it grew to 73.9 million people shopping at a small business. Last year, $14.3 billion was spent at independent businesses.

For several businesses in the Brooklyn area of Jacksonville, the Small Business Saturday concept is fairly new with a lot of development still underway in the neighborhood. Business owners expressed they just want to get more clientele in the door.

"This is going to be our first Small Business Saturday because we're actually brand new," said Karayla Sylvan, general manager, Marilyn Monroe Spa. "I think it's a great opportunity for people to come over and stay local and be exposed to other things other than going to a chain store. I just think it's great to keep it in the community if we can."

The Marilyn Monroe Spa opened in April and has lots planned for Saturday’s sale event. Activities include a jewelry trunk show, and specials on salon services.

Angela Widener, owner, The Pink Nickel said small businesses like hers offer something a little different.

"What you're going to find here are unique pieces that you're not going to find at the department stores," Widener said. "I think it's important to - one - shop small, and that way we can give back to the community."

News4JAX spoke to one shopper who said even though she was already out for Black Friday, they will definitely be back out to support small businesses on Saturday.

"I'm not a big box [store] person,” said Alli Heim. “I don't like to get caught up in the crowd, I like to come in and get one-on-one when I shop."

If you're not sure what small businesses are near you, American Express has a website that can help you locate and see which stores are participating: