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Shoppers, Retailers Celebrate 'Small Business Saturday'

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Forget Black Friday and the mega-retailers. Saturday, there's a nationwide push for shoppers to spend locally. That includes right here in Maryland.

Monique Griego reports on Baltimore's Small Business Saturday.

While Black Friday is mostly about the big box stores and Cyber Monday is online, the Saturday in between is all about shopping small.

"Small Business Saturday is one day a year that we hope to highlight the benefits of shopping local," said Claudia Toles.

Toles, the owner of Amuse Toys, is one of a list of retailers in Fells Point offering a special passport promotion this Saturday to bring shoppers into the neighborhood.

"We have come together with 15 other retailers and several restaurants who are doing cross promotions," she said.

Once you get your passport, all you have to do is stop by four other stores for a total of five, get it stamped then come to Amuse and drop it off.

"And you are entered to win lots of drawings and prizes and different discounts," Toles said.

American Express started Small Business Saturday four years ago to help retailers hit hard by the economic downturn. Many people tell us going local is simply a different kind of shopping experience.

"It's nice when you go to a shop where you know the people who own it and who work there," said Erin Geoghugan.

"I wanted to purchase some gifts and thought it was a perfect day to do it in the community," said Janet Carestia.

And if all that shopping works up your appetite, many restaurants like Brick Oven Pizza are also offering discounted deals.

"A lot of small businesses around here that will benefit from it today and going on into the season," said Tim Reese, the manager of Brick Oven Pizza.

And if you needed another reason to shop local, Toles said just think of it as a way to make sure Baltimore keeps its character.

"We always say Charm City is charming and we want to keep it charming," she said.

In addition to Fells Point, Pigtown and other neighborhoods are holding promotions this weekend.

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