RICHMOND, Va. -- Cold, rainy weather did not stop shoppers from hitting locally-owned stores in Central Virginia for Small Business Saturday.
American Express started Small Business Saturday in 2010 to encourage customers to shop in their local stores on the day after Black Friday rather than national chains.
Ashley Unger, a local artist who owns a pottery business, braved the rainy to support local businesses.
"I am excited to come and support small businesses," Unger said. "I think now more than ever, we need to be supporting local businesses and artists."
As a small business owner and artist, she understands the power of buying local and support from the community.
"This is a good way to spend your money, your hard earned money, is by pouring back into your community," Unger said.
She started her holiday shopping at Mongrel where the store's manager, Laci Combs, said it is great to see people supporting local businesses.
"It absolutely thrills me and I think what today is all about is supporting friends and neighbors in Carytown in general," Combs said. "So it's great to see bags from other stores come in here and coffee cups from Sugar and Twine. It's great!"
The owner from Sugar and Twine, Beth Orcutt, said her business has also seen an increase of sales.
"Saturday's in general and Small Business Saturday tend to be great days for us and our neighboring businesses," said Orcutt.
Businesses in Richmond's Carytown are always support each other, Orcutt said.
"We are really grateful for that -- kind of keep the money here locally -- and to support our neighboring businesses. They support us, we support them," said Orcutt.
And throughout the years, both Orcutt and Combs have noticed that more people are choosing to buy local.
"I've seen a more conscious effort to shop locally and they're making sure they are supporting local causes," Combs explained.
According to American Express for every dollar spent at a local business, 67 cents stays in the community.
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