PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Black Friday is a day for big box retailers to make big bucks in a matter of hours, but Joy Meredith says Saturday is a day for businesses like hers.
"With all the chain stores and everything that they do it does get a little competitive to us. I mean small businesses often times can't do those kind of deep, deep cuts," Meredith said.
Meredith owns Crystal Fantasy, a gift and enlightenment store that's been a Palm Springs establishment since 1987. She's also the president of Main Street, the merchants association of uptown and downtown Palm Springs.
"Almost 90 percent of the businesses in downtown and uptown Palm Springs are independently-owned. So, for a downtown area like ours, it makes a huge difference," Meredith said.
In 2010, Small Business Saturday was set aside for shoppers to remember their local mom-and-pop stores. It falls on the Saturday between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The movement was created by American Express to celebrate and promote small businesses during this busy holiday shopping weekend.
American Express even offers rebates to customers who shop at participating small retailers.
"I'm thankful the American Express program was kind of the beginning, the nucleus, of a new thought process," Meredith said.
Meredith says the many small businesses that line Palm Canyon Drive provide crucial economic support for the city.
"Over 70 percent of every dollar that you spend with a local business actually stays in the community," Meredith said.
As the movement continues to spread, with the help of social media, Meredith hopes people remember they can make a big difference if they just #shopsmall.
"It's just important to shop small whenever you can, and know you're helping your community when you do that," Meredith said.