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"Small Business Saturday" is always the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the goal is to get local residents to shop local.

The idea came from American Express, and this year, for the fourth year in a row, the Better Business Bureau is supporting and encouraging people to shop at their local stores.

Local stores mean money, jobs and taxes for local communities.

For many local stores they make the "lion's share" of their profits during the Christmas shopping season, so shopping local helps to keep people employed, and it keeps dollars moving through our communities.

Last year, more than 100 million people purchased items from small businesses in their local communities.  It's estimated that those purchase amounted to $14.3 million on Small Business Saturday.

Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau on taking part in Small Business Saturday:

  • Get involved. Many communities are hosting special events, and being involved in SBS shows that you support the businesses that make your community unique. Find out what local events are happening in your area on the Small Business Saturday website or check with our local chamber or merchants’ association.
  • Do your research. Check out businesses ahead of time and find out what past customers have to say at Find out what stores and businesses in your area are participating in Small Business Saturday by going to
  • Sign-up for email alerts. Many stores have Small Business Saturday specials just for people who have signed up to receive their emails.
  • Check social media. Many small businesses will advertise their SBS sales via social media, so be sure to check your favorite small businesses on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. Use #ShopSmall to search for information or to share plans with your friends.
  • Invite your friends and family. Turn this shopping event into a family/friend extravaganza! Visit your favorite local stores, try some new ones, get a head start on the holidays and enjoy time with loved ones.
  • Ask for gift receipts and save warranty information. A gift receipt can be tucked into a gift item or card so that the recipient can return or exchange a gift if it’s not just right. Be sure to pass along any information about returns, exchanges, repairs, and warranties to the person who will use the item.