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Small Business Saturday highlights locally owned stores

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C.T. Weekends manager Dennis Mayfield greets a customer on Small Business Saturday. C.T. Weekends manager Dennis Mayfield greets a customer on Small Business Saturday.
RALEIGH, N.C. -

As the malls and big box stores get flooded with Black Friday -- and soon, Cyber Monday -- money, small businesses are doing their best to keep up.

Saturday is Small Business Saturday, and even President Barack Obama did his part to support locally owned businesses by shopping at a local bookstore in Washington, D.C..

Raleigh's Cameron Village is rich with small businesses, and owners hope shoppers are looking for quality over quantity

"You get more out of the experience," said Skip Smith, who manages Richey & Co. shoes. "We offer a level of service and a level of knowledge the big box stores don't."

Smith said, "We've started our sales earlier to compete with Black Friday, and get people into the area."

Many of the small businesses admit they can't beat the big box stores in their deals, but they are offering specials for their loyal customers.

One store doing just that was C.T. Weekends, also in Cameron Village.

"When our customers come in, many of them, we know their name. I don't know if that ever happens in a big box," said manager Dennis Mayfield.

Mayfield said scenes like a brawl that broke out at a North Carolina Wal-Mart over a low-priced TV on Black Friday aren't likely to happen in Cameron Village.

"We want people to come in and be happy," he said.

$5.5 billion was spent on Small Business Saturday just last year. And in another effort to spur shopping locally, the Downtown Raleigh Alliance is selling a gift card.

The "shop downtown" gift cards can be purchased and used at nearly 100 shops, museums and businesses in the Capital City. At the Raleigh Wine Shop in the Glenwood South district, they've already seen the cards in action.

"It encourages people to shop small and in the locally owned businesses," said Seth Hoffman, manager of the wine shop. "The money you spend stays in your own community."

The cards can be purchased at the DRA office on S. Wilmington Street or on its website.

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