EAST GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)—Local businesses are hoping to ring in the start of the holiday shopping season this Saturday.
The U.S. is home to 28 million small businesses looking to boost holiday sales this Small Business Saturday, cashing in on customer loyalty.
"I think products are more unique at smaller shops and generally when you come to a shop like this you get treated better," says Matt Schwartz, who is on the hunt for that perfect seasonal gift while he's home for the holidays. "I try to stay away from the mall actually."
This is the fifth year for Small Business Saturday. Apothecary off Main and Humanity Boutique are a couple of downtown stores which will participate in the retailing event.
"It's a great investment for people [who] want to give back to the community… to keep retail going and to keep small businesses alive because that's part of our community," says small business owner Courtney Hunt.
Small business owners say what sets them apart from big box stores is personalized customer service and limiting the quantity of a product, keeping it unique. They also say shopping close to home helps the local economy.
"It puts money back in your community. If you shop in a small business, that really drives money back into Grand Rapids and into Michigan and the community," explains small business owner Jill Devan.