Local Businesses Gearing up for Small Business Saturday

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PANAMA CITY - This time of year, everyone wants to talk about Black Friday and all the huge discounts at the big box stores.

Locally-owned business say they have a lot to offer and plan to showcase it the day after Black Friday.

Shop small and shop local.

Locally-owned businesses strive for this all year long, but they sometimes get lost in the holiday madness.

A National Federation of Independent Business survey shows 32% of small businesses are starting their holiday promotions earlier this year.

Small business owners, Jerry and Sherry Nelson operate "Peaches and Beaches" on Back Beach Road.

They have to work extra hard to draw customers.

Nelson said, " We're offering deep discounts on all of our holiday merchandise."

This year Small Business Saturday is November 30th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

American Express started Small Business Saturday in 2010 to help local merchants attract local shoppers.

Dutch Sanger who is with the Downtown Improvement Board said, "We can't compete against the box stores and the high marketing dollars that they have so it is an opportunity for us with the hold of American Express to really showcase the small business that we have."

About 20 Downtown Panama City stores are taking part this year.
The promotion has a ripple effect.

"The Place" on Harrison Avenue benefit from all the extra traffic.
Robin Atamian owner "The Place"," said, "If they support us we can continue to support them and do well in the community."

Business owners are hoping for some big business November 30th.

"This is a big campaign and its getting bigger and bigger," Atamian said.

Nelson said, "Every year it grows. Every year it grows bigger and bigger."

It's a trend they hope will carry over to the rest of the year.