There seems to be a name for nearly every shopping day this holiday weekend, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the most common.But for the last few years there’s also been Small Business Saturday.
It’s a day to remember the little guys trying to make a living over the holiday, said local shopkeepers. The stores that are usually family operated, and need business as much if not more than the big box stores and retailers.
"The nice thing about family owned stores in San Diego is when you spend the money here in San Diego, the money stays,” said Larry Kuntz of Nelson Photo in Little Italy.
Kuntz’s store has been locally owned for more than 60 years. Many years ago, people’s only choice for a camera was at a local photo store.
Now Nelson's competes with huge retail stores, both in the malls and online.
It’s a similar situation for fun eclectic clothing store UNIV in Encinitas. It can't hold a candle to the big stores in volume, but they say they can compete with their unique line-up of shirts, shoes, jackets and more.
They also offer something the larger national chains have a hard time matching: A personal touch.
"We know our customers, we relate to our customers, we're friends with our customers,” said Tim Stewart, owner of UNIV. “ And so those are the people who keep coming back and we keep selling to. And we look to build off of that, from one friend at a time type.”
This push for Small Business Saturday, squeezed between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, was started by American Express a few years ago. It's a tough call as bargain shoppers can often find deals online or at the big retail stores that the small businesses have a tough time matching.
On the other hand, personal service can mean a lot, especially if you have questions or a problem with the product.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders even officially declared Saturday, Nov. 24 to be "Small Business Saturday."
"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy," he said in a statement. "Every dollar spent in San Diego is more likely to re-circulate in the community helping to create jobs and grow the local economy.”