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Shop Local for Small Business Saturday

When you spend more time counting dollars and cents than you do counting who’s naughty and nice, holiday shopping can lose some of its festive feel. A few years into the Great Recession, many Americans have become more aware of how much they spend and where they spend it.

In an effort to boost local business during the busiest shopping weekend of the year, American Express is sponsoring the second annual Small Business Saturday . Sandwiched conveniently between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to spend their cash in locally owned and operated stores, and to spread some financial cheer within their communities. And with more than 2.4 million fans on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page , it seems that in encouraging people to “shop small” Amex has tapped into something pretty big.

Embedded in the Small Business Saturday Facebook landing page is an app that allows shoppers to enter their zip codes and get a list of local businesses and supporters taking part, from restaurants to boutiques to dry cleaners to delis.

The list is long and the retailers are varied. More than 50 business in Rye, N.Y. are taking part. And in Westport, Conn., more than 100 restaurants, boutiques and other retailers have signed up to participate. Westport-based jewelry designer Faye Kim is even offering customers a special Small Business Saturday discount.  Scarsdale, N.Y. denim destination Havana Jeans is encouraging its Facebook fans to shop the store and “support small business and your local economy.” Darien, Conn.’s Erica Jensen, owner of the Helen Ainson boutique, shares the locally-oriented mentality. She writes, “We have lovely shops and great restaurants in Darien. So don’t get “malled.” Chappaqua children’s décor boutique Always the Children will also offer Small Business Saturday related discounts.

So, while you’re out checking off everyone’s wish lists this weekend, you may want to consider local destinations in which to spend your holiday dollars. In this economy, it certainly makes sense.

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