PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – America’s small business owners opened their doors to shoppers Saturday. Wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday encourages people to shop small and support local businesses.

The names of these neighborhood shops and stores might not be multi-billion dollar national brands, but what they bring to their communities is priceless.

Just ask the owners of places like 52nd Street Market in Lawrenceville.

“It’s why we exist,” co-owner Dora Walmsley said. “About 70 percent of our customers are returning, so we really are a community corner store.”

Small Business Saturday is celebrating its sixth year nationwide, with record numbers heading out to support their favorite locally owned retailers. Many, like Spool in Allentown, are new to their neighborhoods.

“And with more businesses, more people move to the area,” Spool co-owner Michelle Lancet said, “and there’s a trickle-down effect to supporting small business.”

“Just a sense of community, they support each other, it’s safer,” shopper Lynne Jacobson said. “People care about each other.”

Created in 2010 by American Express, Small Business Saturday has grown every year, with nearly 90 million shoppers spending some holiday cash at independent shops last year. For some, like Thriftique in Lawrenceville, it’s also a way to support vital community service programs.

“Today’s our grand opening, and it gave us the opportunity to combine our clothing and our furniture thrift under one roof in a really exciting and vibrant location, and we’re thrilled to be part of Lawrenceville now,” said Laurie Gottlieb, vice president of the National Council of Jewish Women, which operates Thriftique.

“It allows us to thrive,” Walmsley added, “and our customers are super supportive all year, not just on Saturday.”

Join The Conversation On The KDKA Facebook Page
Stay Up To Date, Follow KDKA On Twitter