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People encouraged to shop local on Small Business Saturday, all year-long

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PHOENIX – The five-day holiday shopping period is well underway with Black Friday in the rear-view mirror and Cyber Monday coming up. While Friday and Monday are focused more on national chains, the country recognizes the Saturday in the middle of the two big shopping days as Small Business Saturday.

Executive Director of Local First Arizona Thomas Barr told KTAR News 92.3 FM Saturday morning that the campaign started 10 years ago from a national perspective.

The goal is to encourage more people to patron and celebrate the small businesses in their communities.

He says for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 stays in the community as opposed to only $13 at national chains.

“Almost four-times more of your money stays in your community when you spend it at the small business, that’s why it’s important that we support them,” Barr said.

“Once you spend that money with a small business, the business is turning around and spending it with more businesses right around you that you might not see all the time,” he added.

In addition to the benefits shopping locally provides to the community from an economic standpoint, Barr mentioned it also gives individuals a sense of pride in their community.

“You spend money with a locally owned business or small business and you’re going to feel more connected to your community,” Barr said. “You may walk into a pizza shop and the owner is going to be right there making your food or you walk into a small boutique or an art store and you may meet somebody that has a lot of expertise behind the product you are looking to buy.”

Barr encourages people to shop locally not just on Small Business Saturday but throughout the year.

KTAR News’ Gabriel Gamino contributed to this report.

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