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For small businesses and shops, it can be tough competing with the big kids on the playground of retail – especially during the holiday season. Small Business Saturday has given small businesses a boost with a special day for shopper’s that falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Save some of holiday cash for local vendors. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while shopping locally:



Do your research.
Almost every business has a website, or at the very least, a Facebook page. Check their sites for deals, promo codes, or coupons prior to Small Business Saturday. Many local businesses have amazing sales and promotions on Small Business Saturday just like the major retailors do on Black Friday.



Look for extended hours.
While it may be difficult to hit all of the local shops on your list, many small businesses extend their hours on Small Business Saturday. Look online to see who’s opening early, or which merchants may be keeping the doors open late. Use this information to plan accordingly and add more local businesses to your shopping list.



Take advantage of personal customer service.
We can almost guarantee you this – you’re not going to receive better customer service from any of the big box retailers or mall stores you visit. Local vendors and shops are typically run by the owners, so you know you’re getting great advice and expert-level guidance. Ask questions. We’re sure you’ll love the answers.



Look for partnerships.
Some merchants join forces with other local merchants in order to generate better promotion and awareness. Ask local businesses about other local businesses in the area. You may be surprised to learn that a purchase at one shop may result in a promotional savings at another. For example, a local coffee shop offered a free cup of Joe to every customer who purchased a book from the local bookstore across the street. The coffee shop also handed out coupons to the bookstore for the customer’s next book purchase. In return, the bookstore offered its customers a 25% off coupon on the coffee shop’s signature pastry, along with a stamp card for the coffee shop – putting customer’s just 4 visits away from another cup of free coffee. This partnership benefitted both businesses and raised awareness for both merchants. Check to see if you can find partnerships that not only benefit the merchants, but you, as the customer.



Search hashtags.
You’re on social media all day anyways, right? Search hashtags like #SmallBizSat, #ShopSmall, #SmallBusiness, and #SmallBusinessSaturday to see where your friends and other locals are shopping. Saavy merchants will take full advantage of the hashtags and promote their businesses and sales as well.