Local businesses gear up for 'Small Business Saturday'

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- There are no long lines or shoulder to shoulder shoppers at MADE Art Boutique, and that's part of its charm.

"Handmade, artist made things that you can't find in Target or Walmart," said MADE staffer Christy Brown.

So while the focus Friday might be on big deals in big stores, staff at MADE are getting ready for tomorrow. It is 'Small Business Saturday' - created by American Express and meant to encourage shoppers to give local stores some love.

"Having an event like this that encourages people to come here is great!" said Brown.

Mike Flitsch and his family are already at MADE getting a head start.

"I like to have the one-of-a-kind stuff and be able to say instead of supporting Walmart or Target, I'm supporting people that live around me in the community," he said.

It's that mindset that business groups like Local First AZ have worked hard to spread. And hope you'll consider that during your shopping.

"We are the economy. Spend it like you want it to go far in your community. Spend it like you want to create jobs," said Kimber Lanning with Local First AZ.

Staff over at bunky boutique said they've felt that swell of love for local business.

"There's definitely been a big upswing over the past five years, specifically because we're local," said co-owner Jim Malloy.

He hopes by participating in Saturday's sales, it'll help turn new faces into return customers.

"We're expecting a pretty big day tomorrow!" he said.

For more on Small Business Saturday, including businesses participating and information on special sales at the stores, visit Shop Small and check out the #shopsmall hashtag on Twitter.