Ashland, OR. -- Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to buy gifts at local stores instead of big box chains. Many shops around Southern Oregon will participate.
The shopping day started in 2010 after the recession, and is now a community tradition across the nation. In Ashland, local businesses come together six months in advance to plan what deals they'll have for their holiday.
Today, Paddington Station told NewsWatch12 the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving are their most profitable days of the year. They said small businesses add a personal touch, and customers feel like family.
Holiday shopper, Lydie Boyer, said small businesses stand out among bigger stores, "The big box stores are impersonal, you can get merchandise at one box store that you can in the next. This is all more unique."
While local shops can compete on Black Friday, Cyber Monday can be difficult. Many small shops don't have an e-commerce site for people to buy their products.
Product Manager for Paddington Station, Kelly Hammond, says while it could be easier to buy online, part of the fun is going to the store, "It's really just a hands-on personal shopping experience than sitting on your phone and clicking on something that may or may not be what you end up getting."
The Ashland Chamber of Commerce has put together a holiday gift guide to help shoppers find local stores.