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Small Business Saturday Enters the Holiday Schedule

MOUNT VERNON, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Black Friday is a little different in small cities like Mount Vernon.

"I didn't even go to the Black Friday shopping, said Small Business Saturday Shopper Mary Ann Haley.

While the passes pushed through entrances at the bigger stores on Friday, the streets in Mount Vernon were quiet.

"I stayed home on Black Friday because I don't like the crowds, said Stew-Art Creations owner Jennifer Stewart.

With Black Friday over and Cyber Monday next week, local stores carved out their own day: Small Business Saturday. Organizers say in 2012, each store had separate promotions and were unorganized.

"We all decided that we might have more success if we all grouped together this year for 2013, said Chairperson for the Mount Vernon/Lisbon Small Business Saturday Project Catherine Kennedy.

Some business owners say shoppers come to Mount Vernon to seek out that small-town feel. So if they all work together, they can preserve it by staying in business.

"Groups of three or four women come in and say, 'We're just on an outing today,' and they meet in Mount Vernon because we have such neat things to look at, said Ruths Room owner Ruth Ipsan-Brown.

Even if that means directing shoppers to other local stores that might better meet their needs.

"We are the ones that create the jobs locally, we are the ones that get the sales tax money flowing, said Kennedy.

Big stores might threaten these smaller shops with a wider selection and lower prices. But local store owners say mass retail falls short in other ways.

"I've intentionally tried to bring in things you can't find in the big box stores, said Ben and Flos owner Marty Mitchell.

"It's nice to have something that's handmade. It's made with love. Somebody cares about this stuff, it's not made by a machine, said Stewart.

For some, thats worth letting the big savings pass right on by.
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