Locals participating in Small Business Saturday

Many local businesses participating in event, hoping for extra business

By Kumasi Aaron - Reporter/The Morning Show anchor , Elizabeth Campbell - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Small Business Saturday is underway and it's a day where people are encouraged to simply "Shop Local."

Small businesses are the cornerstone of any community, creating jobs, spurring local economic growth, and giving back to society.

In recent years, small businesses have been overshadowed by the holiday hype of "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday," which tend to emphasis major retailers -- but small businesses are reminding that they have much to offer for holiday shoppers.

For the fourth year in a row, Better Business Bureau is supporting Small Business Saturday and urging consumers to support the small businesses in their communities on Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Small Business Saturday participants say it's a perfect time to take a break from the crowded shopping mall and instead check out the small stores and businesses in your neighborhood.

Shoppers will find unique gifts, gourmet foods and more to make the holidays distinctive, fresh and fun. Business owners are hoping shoppers might even discover a new, favorite store.

Small Business Saturday in 2012 was the biggest ever Consumer awareness reached a reported 67% and an estimated $5.5 billion was spent at small, independently owned retailers, according to American Express Open, which launched SBS.

Since Small Business Saturday was born in 2010 and officially recognized by the U.S. Senate in 2011, the once little-known campaign has become a movement that millions of individuals, businesses, and communities have embraced nationwide.

With the help of shoppers, Small Business Saturday could be even bigger this year. Get involved by helping your community prepare, promoting your local businesses, and encouraging your friends and family to "Shop Small."

The more businesses and shoppers that get involved, the bigger and more beneficial the day will be for local communities.

Locally, the Jacksonville Small and Emerging Business office hopes locals will really get involved this year.

For a full list of local participating businesses that are looking for support on Small Business Saturday, visit the official website.

Copyright 2013 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.