Small Business Saturday to support local businesses

Day falls between Black Friday, Cyber Monday

SAN DIEGO - Local small businesses on Saturday will try and attract shoppers with their holiday bargains as part of Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday, which falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country.

Hundreds of stores throughout the county are participating, including dozens along Chula Vista's Third Avenue Village.

For Steve Bandoian, the owner of South Bay Bicycles, competing with larger retail stores is not easy at a time when everyone is competing for customers. Bandoian says it is also difficult to keep up with all of the expenses that come with owning your own business.

"The taxes go up, the fees for everything like credit cards permits… that goes up all the time," he said. "Meanwhile, all your customers expect you to have the same price."

That is the same case for the rest of the small businesses that make up the Third Avenue Village. Each business owner is constantly fighting to keep their doors open. 

Nationwide outreach events like Small Business Saturday that try to get people to shop at "mom and pop" shops are key to helping these businesses survive, which in turn helps the local economy. Anne Steinberger, a spokeswoman for the city of Chula Vista, says if businesses succeed it means more jobs for the area.

John Garcia has owned Pacific Sports since the 1990s, primarily selling Chargers collector items. He says events like Saturday's are needed to get people inside his shop. 

"It's slow because of the shopping centers and because of other things," Garcia said. "We don't get enough traffic downtown."

That is one challenge that Juan Martinez says he is ready to face. Martinez just opened his Urban SK8 shop last week. He is hopeful that shoppers will realize there is a different kind of service when it comes to small businesses compared to the bigger stores.

Lisa Gordon, the small business ambassador for the city of San Diego, issued a proclamation at noon on Saturday in North Park to recognize the importance and contributions that small businesses make to the local community.

American Express, the founding partner of Small Business Saturday, created the national program in 2010 in response to small business owners' most pressing need: more demand for their products and services.

For more information and list of local businesses, click here.

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