CEDARBURG -- Black Friday may be one of the busiest shopping days of the year, but Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24 is proving to be far more lucrative and impactful for local businesses. The unofficial holiday encourages customers to help their hometowns by spending their hard-earned dollars locally.
Shoppers say they have success finding unique items at "mom and pop shops", and stores like Cedarburg Toy Company bank on this unofficial holiday, giving special deals and incentives to get people through the door.
"It's one of our biggest days of the year, sales-wise," said Natasha Loos of Cedarburg Toy Company. "It really helps us to have that bump of income coming in."
Foot traffic definitely picked up as the day went on. Over in Milwaukee's Third Ward, many enjoyed the laid-back vibe that's sometimes lacking in the big box stores.
"Beat the crowds," said Kimberly Bell, a shopper. "Have time to look around, chill -- not that crazy, running for the same coffee mug everyone has."
Snagging gifts for themselves and loved ones, and it's the "mom and pop" shops where folks are having success finding unique items and getting their wish lists checked off while giving back and supporting community businesses, one purchases at a time.
"Keep Milwaukee going," said Bell. "It's a beautiful community that's growing. It's nice to see all of these shops stay in business."
The economic impact of Small Business Saturday could be very significant. Reports show that an average of two thirds of every dollar spent at local businesses stays in the local community.