SYLVANIA, OH (Toledo News Now) - From the big box stores on Black Friday to local shops on Small Business Saturday, small businesses have been making a big effort to get in on the holiday profit. Small Business Saturday has become a community effort with many local shops banding together to get customers to come through their doors.
Reflecting on the weekend puts a smile on Char Boyd's face. She works at C'est La Vie, which partnered with other Sylvania local businesses, like Lady C and Reve, for Small Business Saturday.
"It was a wonderful day. We did well. Customers were patient, and they were fun. I think everybody is in a happy mood at this time of year," said Boyd.
Shop owners believe a few factors contributed to a successful weekend: American Express offered a $25 credit to their card users if they shopped local, and more awareness.
"Most people don't have the big budgets that a big box store has, so you encourage them to use their e-mails to send out reminders and do some advertising locally as a consortium," said Pat Nowak with the Sylvania Chamber of Commerce.
Nowak says about 50 percent of their local businesses participated on Saturday, including most of downtown.
"Small businesses are there giving back to the community every day, so if they don't exist, communities are going to lose," explained Nowak.
Boyd hopes Small Business Saturday will become even more popular.
"Stores like this are becoming obsolete. More and more small shops are going out of business. People are realizing that and so they are patronizing us, which is good," said Boyd.
Some local businesses are also benefiting from "Cyber Monday", a popular day to shop for presents online.
Hickory Farms, based in Toledo, has seen a 50 percent increase in online sales over a year ago. They say an offer of free shipping, and some new gift items have been driving shoppers from around the world to their site.