Local shops pull out stops for Small Business Saturday

- While the Black Friday frenzy may be winding down, Tampa Bay's local businesses are gearing up for one of their biggest shopping days of the year: Small Business Saturday.

The American Express-sponsored shopping holiday is simple. Go out of your way to spend at local businesses, to keep them in business.

Last year, the company reported 95 million customers took part, spending more than $16 billion, up from $14.3 billion in 2014.

If you can find it at a big box store, there's a good chance you can also buy it at a local business. You just have to know where to look.

"I have toy boxes, kitchens, I have furniture for babies," said Alexandra Graham, owner of Reruns 4 Little Ones.

The store, off West Hillsborough Avenue is a consignment and retail boutique, selling products from infant to maternity.

"We've been in the Tampa Bay community for 10 years," Graham said. "Being a Tampa-based business is great but I am also a mom-owned business."

It's not every day they can expect a line out the door.

"Small Business Saturday is our holiday," Graham said. "There's no way us small guys can compete with the big box stores. So, this is our opportunity to take what we can offer to the community."

Reruns 4 Little Ones is offering doorbusters and 40 percent off deals. Meanwhile, Tampa Fishing Outfitters on Osborne Avenue is luring customers by offering free hats and accessories to those who spend a certain amount.

"20% off our private label line of cast nets, fishing equipment," said manager Joy Lee. "Also, we are doing 40% off some Simms apparel which is a really good deal."

They've been open for 10 years but this is their first time participating in Small Business Saturday.

"It just feels more empowering to be able to serve the customers' specific needs and make decisions that really cater to local people," Lee said.

It's money you can feel good about spending because it's all staying right here.

"The money I put into this, I give back to the community," Graham said. "I love Tampa Bay. Everything I make pretty much goes back to supporting local or shopping local."

If you want to chip in but are not sure where to start, just head to SmallBusinessSaturday.com. They have a map that'll point you to all the participating businesses in your area.

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