It's 'Small Business Saturday' as shoppers take break from Friday's crush at Big Box stores

National campaign encourages shoppers to make their purchases at small, locally owned businesses

After shoppers competed for discounts largely in major chain

stores on Black Friday, several Bay Area cities, including Pleasanton, are encouraging shoppers to take part in "Small Business Saturday" today.

The national campaign is in its second year, and encourages

shoppers to spend some time on Saturday doing their holiday shopping in small, locally owned businesses.

San Jose recently officially proclaimed today Small Business

Saturday, encouraging residents to visit San Jose businesses, saying the campaign aligns with the city's Shop San Jose Initiative.

"These initiatives are an important way to connect our residents

with the many great shops, restaurants and small businesses located here in San Jose," Mayor Chuck Reed said in a statement after the proclamation.

Councilwoman Rose Herrera added that shopping locally can help create local jobs. "Buying goods and services in San Jose helps create local jobs as opposed to shopping with an out-of-area retailer," she said.

In Pleasanton, restaurants that serve breakfast are opening early as shoppers head first to Farmers Market and then to retail stores throughout the downtown.

The town of Danville is also encouraging residents to shop locally today, reminding them that by shopping locally they can help the city maintain public services by generating sales tax revenue.

Small Business Saturday was started last year by American Express, and offered statement credits for American Express customers who used their credit card to purchase goods at small businesses that day.

The campaign has even picked up national support from the Obama Administration, which announced that various Cabinet secretaries and other Administration officials would be shopping at small businesses throughout the country today.

Scott Morris, Bay City News, contributed to this story.


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