Local shops get ready for "Small Business Saturday"

Nationwide event is in its fourth year

TAMPA - Local shops hope to get a boost in sales from "Small Business Saturday" on Nov. 30, which falls right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

In the Seminole Heights area of Tampa, twelve local businesses will participate by offering raffle prizes for customers who visit at least six shops.

One of those stores is "Figure 8 Art Supplies" on Florida Avenue. Owner Julie Melinda Dilbert got the start-up going early in 2013, after noticing a lack of art supply stores in central Tampa. So far, she said, she's breaking even, but she hopes she can see profits eventually.

"It's all about setting goals and being realistic with myself," she said.

Hillsborough County's economic development team estimates 85 percent of businesses in the county are locally-owned, with 10 or fewer employees.

"Mojo Books and Music" on Fowler Avenue is also locally-owned. Owner Melanie Cade said sales at her store will carry over from Black Friday into Small Business Saturday.

"For every dollar that you spend in a local business, a large portion of that is going to go back into the local community," Cade said.

"Small Business Saturday" was started by American Express in 2010. To see the company's lists of local businesses near you, visit http://shopsmallnow.americanexpress.com .


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