PERRYSBURG, Ohio — It's the the biggest shopping day of the year for the small business community.
Shoppers were back out one day after Black Friday for the annual Small Business Saturday. The 10-year-old shopping holiday encourages shoppers to spend holiday dollars at local shops.
Online sales may be king now but customer service and brick and mortar chivalry are still alive and well.
"If you want one of kind and not cookie cutter things, then you come to places like this," said shopper Blonza Thomas.
Customers and workers alike said people look forward to it just as much as Black Friday.
"I think people are more aware of the small businesses," Lily's store associate Maggie Koehler-Warner said, "and they really want to support the local community."
"The relationship that you establish and just being able to connect with people that are in your community," shopper Jennifer Smith said.
Smith and Thomas came down from Michigan just to shop at Lily's in Levis Commons. They say it's a one-on-one experience you can't find at a big chain store.
"We come all the way here just to see Lilly and to support her," Thomas said, "and the things that she promotes here which is kindness. Everybody here is absolutely wonderful."
Customers said local shops like Lily's offer the best one-of-a-kind items.
"We love Lily's," Thomas said. "We just absolutely can find something special for anybody in our family."
And for many small businesses, the Christmas season really is the most wonderful time of the year for sales.
"For us it's half the year, you know so we look forward to it. It's fun," Koehler-Warner said.
"Merry Christmas to everybody and come down and visit Lily's and all of the small businesses in your community," Thomas added. "Support them."
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