Small business Saturday encourages people to shop local

In Northampton parking is free all day downtown

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Today is small business Saturday, but many local shops in the area have big expectations from shoppers!

Most small businesses here in Northampton will open at 10 this Saturday morning, and many have displays up promoting different sales and deals.

In Northampton parking is free all day downtown and in municipal lots to encourage people to support small businesses.

Small business Saturday is actually a relatively new shopping holiday, that was started by American Express in 2010 to help retailers during the recession.

Shopping local on small business Saturday not only supports these stores, but also puts money directly back into the community and economy. According to American Express, $15.4 billion dollars was generated on Small Business Saturday in 2016.

The National Retail Federation found that 76 percent of people who say they are considering shopping over this holiday weekend, would shop to support small business Saturday.

Bridget Martin, the manager of Cedar Chest, told 22News that customers are going the extra mile to show their appreciation for small stores that boost the economy and provide local employment.

“We have had a lot of customers come in in the last couple days and thank us for being here and thank us for doing this weekend and supporting them too, which is what we try to do,” Martin said.