FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – On Saturday, small businesses found their answer to the madness of holiday shopping.
Shoppers were able to leave stores without running, without pushing, and with the satisfaction that the gifts they bought might not be ending up under any other trees.
The second annual Small Business Saturday encouraged shoppers to skip the big-box stores and spend money locally.
It countered the flash of Black Friday, with the appearance of a grass-roots political campaign. Small shops put up matching posters in the window, promising the day for small business would be “huge.”
Some gave out buttons and promoted the day through social media.
Shoppers like Angel Mercer thought it worked.
“They just have different stuff, and they’re more personable, and they’re pretty to look at,” Mercer said while shopping in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square.
American Express helped start the idea last year.
Experts say small businesses have lost 11 percent of the market over the last 20 years, but those who took part in the day last year saw a 28 percent growth in sales.
“It’s really helped business districts like Sundance Square that are full of small businesses that are owned by people who live here and who invest here and who hire locally,” said small business expert Devin Mercer.
At Earth Bones, a gift and jewelry store, manager Steven Gomez said he was seeing more traffic than last year.
He even referred customers to other gift stores, eager to share the exposure he said no small store could ever afford on its own.
“Instead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s something to help the local economy,” Gomez said. “Which is what we need, or else businesses like ours are going to go away.”