Big sales for shopping small in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE -- Stepping up for small businesses! Black Friday has come and gone, but shoppers were still able to hit up sales in a major way for “Small Business Saturday.” It’s a fairly new shopping holiday that’s giving a big boost to local stores.

Shoppers looking for a sweet deal hit up the Milwaukee Cupcake Company. In 2010 American Express created the holiday which is sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday because small businesses needed to create more demand for their products and services. “Anything that can create awareness, buying things supporting small businesses. It’s a challenging time, but  if people can get out and do their part and help us out it will be great and have a great holiday season,” said supporter Tim Hansen.

Saturday shoppers patronized local and independently owned businesses in the Historic Third Ward.

Kate Strzok  the owner of Broadway Paper said, “I’m feeling great today is super exciting. We are really competing against big retailers and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday it’s a lot of competition so a day like this can bring a lot of foot traffic and a lot of attention and a lot of business to our stores.”

Strzok said she and other store owners are offering incentives and perks comparable to big retailers which is a major draw and loyalty helps fuel it.  “We employ people within the community, supporting community and giving back. Also having promotions like giveaway and gift with purchase and also getting to know our customers on a name to name basis more-so than other retailers would,” added Strzok.

And for unique boutiques like Hot Pop, shopping small is a great way to help local merchants flourish.

Employee Katie Bastrup said, "It has been a boost. It's nice so far, we`re expecting like double. We feel the local impact. We feel the warmth from our community because we support our community as well so they like to give back to us.”

Nearly 30 businesses participated in “Small Business Saturday.” According to the National Federation of Independent business 80% of participating stores expect a year over year boost in sales.