Small Business Saturday Focuses on Mom and Pop Stores, Current Today.

If Black Friday crowds exhaust you and Cyber Monday feels risky, mom-and-pop business owners in metro Atlanta have a proposition: shop Small Business Saturday.

Instead of elbowing your way to that discounted TV at a Big Box retailer this weekend, you should patronize independent shops, where you can slow down, get one-on-one service and perhaps find unique items, small business owners say.

“We try to offer things you can’t get in the big box stores or on Amazon,” said Crista McCay, registrar for the Marietta Museum of History, one of a number of Marietta Square businesses hoping to get on metro Atlantans holiday shopping itinerary.

“We’ve got Big Chicken items like a Big Chicken ornament made of Georgia clay that you can’t get anywhere else,” she said, referring to the Marietta landmark. “We’ve also got ‘History in Focus,’ which is 125-page book about Cobb County that is unique to our store.” Expectations are high that this may be the breakout year for Small Business Saturday, which has struggled to gain momentum since it was created by American Express in 2010.

The National Retail Federation projects about 71 million people will shop on Small Business Saturday, a solid turnout when compared to the more traditional and better known Black Friday. About 115 million are expected to shop on Black Friday, the NRF reports.


A recent study by the National Federation of Independent Business found that consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday has grown to about six in 10 Americans. That could mean millions in dollars for local economies because most small business sales stay in the communities where the purchases are made compared to that of big box retailers, said Nathan Humphrey, director of the Georgia NFIB office.

“Keeping the money in the local community with people you know is part of the emotional draw,” he said. Small Business Saturday also helps small communities showcase their downtowns because many of the stores are in older, renovated buildings that require shoppers to park and walk to storefronts.

“This is great for communities because it forces people to get out of their cars and walk around,” said Amanda Leiba, senior marketing coordinator for the city of Duluth, which is sponsoring a Small Business Saturday celebration for Gwinnett County community. “Sometimes people don’t know what’s in their back yard because they don’t venture out.”

Unlike retail chains or billion-dollar online juggernauts like Amazon, the mom-and-pop retailers can’t afford to offer huge deals to pull in customers or take a loss on certain items, say a TV, in hopes of making it up with sales of other products, Humphrey said.

Courtesy of the Atlanta Constitution Journal 11/25/17