Chattanooga small businesses attract shoppers - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Chattanooga small businesses attract shoppers

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

As people crowd all the big chain stores, local small businesses are stepping up their game to compete.

The day after Black Friday has become known as Small Business Saturday, prompting shoppers to give their business to stores run by people in their own communities. In Chattanooga this year, the shops on Frazier Avenue are trying to attract business Friday and Saturday by offering money-saving deals.

Members of the North Shore Merchants Collective put out their own Black Friday coupons this year.

"We wanted to draw attention to the shops on Frazier and the small businesses because small businesses are really the backbone of our city and our country," A Child's Garden Boutique Owner Jeanne Trewhitt said.

"We just wanted to bring our customers in and let them enjoy some great deals downtown," Go Fish Owner Sherra Lewis said.

But, their best sales day of the year is sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, dubbed as Small Business Saturday. Last year, Americans spent $5.5 billion at mom and pop stores that day. The owners are touting a more personalized experience away from the hustle and bustle of malls.

"There's a difference when you come in the stores-- service. We care because we see the people, we live with the people of the community," River Street Deli Owner Bruce Weiss said.

"You will find things here that you don't find in the big box stores," Trewhitt said.

The biggest draw seems to be putting money back into your local economy instead of sending it off to chain store headquarters outside of the Tennessee Valley.

"It's local. You're buying local. All of your money is going to stay here. It's going to go to people that work here. It's going to brands with a philanthropic business model," n2 Shoes employee Cameron Gonzalez said.

"You go to any of the big box stores it's going to Arkansas, going to Minnesota, it's going out of town," Weiss said.

"It actually works in a lot of ways they may not even be aware of how they're supporting their local business," Lewis said.

Credit card company American Express started Small Business Saturday in 2010 and it's increased in popularity each year since. Small business owners tell us on average, seventy cents of every dollar you spend with them stays here, as paychecks, taxes and services.

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