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Hopes Are High For Shops On 'Small Business Saturday'

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - The Black Friday holiday shopping blitz has now stretched into a four-day shopping excursion.

For mom and pop stores, the competition is bigger than ever.

Sara Moulton spent Small Business Saturday shopping at one of her local favorites in Minneapolis, Patina.

"The big stores are kind of taking over holidays," Moulton said. "I just love supporting local businesses and giving back to the community."

Patina manager Karin Tepparo says they don't tout deep discounts, but instead rely on their one-of-a-kind items to bring in customers.

"We are the 'something for everybody' stores," Tepparo said. "They're looking for the special, unique gift that we can offer, which they can't find at some of the big-box retailers."

Small Business Saturday started in 2010 to encourage shoppers to support their local shops.

"Every year, it seems like the popularity of Small Business Saturday gets greater and greater," she said.

And it is growing. Last year, $5.5 million was generated nationally on the shopping day.

But the competition is stiff. Big-box retailers are targeting shoppers with deep discounts through the weekend.

Roberta Bonoff, CEO of Creative Kidstuff, says while they do offer special deals with the help of their manufacturers, they focus on service.

"I can't compete on price. It's just not possible, I don't have their buying power," Bonoff said. "We have great customer service, we'll help you find just the right toy for the child you're looking for."

Creative Kidstuff has six stores in the Twin Cities, and they kicked off the holiday shopping season two weeks ago with a personal-shopper event for their customers.

The company is one of 120,000 small businesses in Minnesota, which account for half of all businesses in the state.

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