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Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday - A new national campaign is urging consumers to take a break between the big-box madness of Black Friday and the bargain-hunting of Cyber Monday and spend today patronizing neighborhood merchants in a new event dubbed Small Business Saturday.

Backed by American Express OPEN, the division of the credit card giant that serves small businesses, the campaign supports the locally owned businesses that help give neighborhoods their character.

"We're really focused on the little guys that don't have the national or regional brand names hanging over their doors," said Cinda Baxter, the small business advocate in Minneapolis whose activities helped spawn today's event.

Baxter said that about 18 months ago she floated an idea in a blog posting. She called it the 3/50 Project: Find three local merchants you love and spend $50 at each per month.

She described 3/50 as a less confrontational variant of the broader buy-local movement because her approach acknowledged that everybody shops at big boxes and online - while also reminding consumers that local merchants deliver not just personal service but millions of jobs.

Baxter said AmEx, which liked the tone of the 3/50 Project, brainstormed with her about how to spotlight neighborhood retailers during the holiday season - and Small Business Saturday was born.

At y&I clothing store on Chestnut Street in San Francisco, co-owner Robyn Sribhen White said small shops like hers need the assist.

Small Business Saturday

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