Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to support local - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Small Business Saturday encourages shoppers to support local stores

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Today may be Cyber Monday, but wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday.

Local residents were encouraged to buy gifts from local businesses instead of the big box chains or department stores.

American Express started the shopping day 2 years ago. The event is designed to stimulate the economy in local communities.

Various stores in downtown Rochester took part in the event. Some say shopping locally has a different feel.

"I think you get more personalized service when you shop locally. That's our nitch. When you come and shop with us you get more personalized service not big box stores," John Shaw, of Knight's Chamber in Rochester, said.

And speaking of Black Friday, retailers are saying sales were down this year for the first time since 2009.

Instead, many holiday shoppers got an early start and took advantage of sales on Thanksgiving Day.

Shoppertrak reported a 2.3-percent increase in spending on Thursday and Friday.

But sales at brick-and-mortar stores dropped off on Friday, falling an average of 4-percent, according to the National Retail Federation.

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