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Small business employee encourages people to shop local

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ABILENE, Texas - People are encouraged to shop at local businesses the day after many hit the stores for Black Friday shopping. One local business employee said you can tell the difference when you shop at a small business.

Small Business Saturday started seven years ago and it's the day after Black Friday when local businesses can shine. It was created so that people could go out and support their local economy. According to American Express, in 2016 business owners generated $15.4 billion on Small Business Saturday.

Sales Associate Ashley O'Neal at Little Giant Kidz in Abilene said you can't get the same customer service at a big retailer that you can get at a small business. "One-on-one service is basically what we strive for," O'Neal said.

At Little Giant Kidz, they extended their Black Friday deals. O'Neal said that Small Business Saturday is just like any other day. "Well, I don't think small business should just be for Saturday," O'Neal said. "I think we should support small business every day, I mean it's the mom and pop places that we need to keep open."

Now that Christmas approaching, O'Neal said their focus shifts a little but it's not too different.

"Once they get past Thanksgiving it's like ok we've got to strictly focus on Christmas, so it does get a little bit busier but not too much different from any other day," O'Neal said. "I mean people still need baby strollers, and car seats, and nursery essentials, and stuff like that." When customers go to their store, O'Neal said they know who to expect when they walk in the door. "It's amazing, the bond that we develop with these women when they come in and register," O'Neal said. "We just get to see them progress through their pregnancies and then once their babies are born we get to watch them grow."

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