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Small Business Saturday Boosts Local Companies

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Small Business Saturday celebrated local companies and the personal services they provide.

"Coming into a small business, you don't get like in a big company where you're just one of the many," Rothmans manager Lacy McAngus said.

While Thursday was for turkey and Friday was for door-busters, Saturday was all about shopping locally, CBS2's Ali Bauman reported.

"Everybody's usually shopped out from the day before. So the people who actually come in for Small Business Saturday are very dedicated to do so on that day," Forbidden Planet manager Jeff Ayers said.

One of those loyal customers was Michael Besso, who bought a rare comic book, saying it probably would have cost him twice as much if he purchased it online.

"It's an out of print book and I was able to find it at very reasonable price, and this is why I shop locally," he said.

With increasing rent prices in the city, local managers said this year's Small Business Saturday was more crucial than ever.

"We are one of the only businesses in the city of our kind that's on the ground floor, we pay what a bank would pay to be here. This city's lifeblood is small business," Ayers said. "More and more it's dying and we're keeping it alive."

Small Business Saturday: Where To Shop In NYC

Small Business Saturday also boosted businesses on Long Island, like Tiny You Children's Boutique in Long Island City.

Owner Jill Callan credited the Long Island City Partnership's online and social media campaigns with bringing in new customers, 1010 WINS' Samantha Liebman reported.

"Different faces today, which is nice. People coming from all the surrounding areas, which is nice," she said.

Even local residents took a second look.

The Partnership handed out maps outside subway stations highlighting the companies that were offering promotions. 

"We just went to a restaurant for a small business event, then came over here because we have a 9-month-old," one shopper said.

Callan said she tries to keep the momentum going, hosting special holiday events, including a visit from Santa.

Inside Francine's Fashion Boutique in Huntington, the phone rang with a call from a longtime customer who asked if a dress could be put on hold.

The sales person, Vicki Raganella, remembered the customer trying on the dress and remembered her size. She quickly set the dress aside, WCBS 880's Sophia Hall reported.

It's that personal service that makes small businesses such a staple in the community.

"We treat everyone special, they're all our friends. In fact, we have our customers' children come in," she said. 

Across the street at Medici Stationary and Gifts, the owner Mary Iadanza said owning a small business comes with a number of modern challenges.

"It's very hard to stay on Main Street. The rents are very expensive, and there's so much internet shopping and mall shopping that small stores are falling apart and losing their business," she said. "If people come in and they see us, they know us, they want to support us."

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