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Small Business Saturday has benefits beyond bottom line

Posted at 2:53 PM, Nov 25, 2016

Many may be focused on Black Friday but it seems like more people than ever have their eye on Small Business Saturday.

A record number of people are planning to spend money at local shops, and it pays off for businesses and customers beyond what you buy.

Jill Livran owns The Lark, a gift and home decor store in Denver, Colorado. She loves her small shop and everything in it. That's why she's looking forward to sharing it with even more people on Small Business Saturday.

Livran says, "It's wonderful that it's giving people the opportunity to say, 'hey let's go find some of those small businesses that are out there.'"

Small business Saturday was started by American Express in 2010 to help small business owners attract more customers. But Livran says shopping small goes beyond her bottom line.

"I can say for myself I employ 10 people and they are all living and shopping locally," Livran says. "So it creates this saying the feedback people come in and we are getting back because I'm employing 10 local people."

According to American Express, 95 million people showed up to shop small on Small Business Saturday in 2015. And it made quite an impact. In total people spent 16.2 billion dollars. And this year could be even better. A survey found 45% of people who expect to shop on the day plan to spend more on Small Business Saturday this year than they spent last year.

At Quality Paws, an all natural pet store also in Denver, owner Danielle Jarock says shoppers will find a lot of items that are locally sourced.

"We support local businesses," Jarock says. "When we are doing that we are cutting down in fuel cost saving on energy by buying locally there's many more impacts to just buy locally than just spending your dollars in the neighborhood."

Just one of many perks of shopping small.

"You can come in and spend an hour or a few minutes finding the perfect gift or a home accessory," Livran says.

Making for a one of a kind experience, with a multi-faceted impact.

The survey found four out of five of consumers are willing to pay slightly more for an item if it is purchased from a small, independently-owned retailer as opposed to online or at a large retailer.

Almost two-thirds plan to spend at least $100.