Small Business Saturday in the Panhandle - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Small Business Saturday in the Panhandle

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Black Friday is notorious for huge sales and long lines at big retail stores, but the deals didn't end on Friday.

Small Business Saturday was created to encourage people to shop small and participating locally-owned stores offer some big deals of their own.

For small stores like those in Downtown Panama City, big retailers with super low prices like Walmart, Target and even the Internet can be tough competition.

"Of course the sales are going on in the big box stores and everything so we try to have a little something here as well," said Lisa Hanna, Owner of the Bead Gallery.

Three years ago, Small Business Saturday was created to drive customers to local stores following the big Black Friday rush.

"We really appreciate anyone in the community who appreciates small business and that will help me survive," said Christine Stringer, Owner of Avenue Sea.

"It's definitely good for the economy and we have a lot of great customers that come and support us everyday, but its just a good reminder for people to come out and do that," said Hanna.

The Bay County Chamber of Commerce is gives you even more reason to shop small by introducing a passbook. Shoppers could get their passbook signed by each retailer they visited and leave the store with a personal business card. The shopper with the most signatures and the retailer with the most business cards win a prize.

Each of the stores has something different they bring to the community.

"It's a lot better to get your hands on the instrument.. we allow people to play the instruments and get a feel for it rather than just reading about it online," said Chandler Clements, Leitz Music.

Shoppers say it's all about the experience.

"We need to support the community, support our local merchants; they are what make this town function," said Denise Quintana, Shopper.

"I love Panama City and anything that helps the Panama City economy is something we should all support," said Rebecca Smith.

Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010. The holiday has been officially recognized by the U.S. Senate since 2011.