Valley boutique hopes to cash-in on Small Business Saturday - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Valley boutique hopes to cash-in on Small Business Saturday

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PHOENIX -

Millions nationwide participated in "Small Business Saturday", an event created in 2010 by American Express.

Employees at the In the Pink boutique unwrapped items and set up for a big day of shopping on Saturday.

"I don't want to have to compete with the big box stores that are opening, you know, 8 p.m. on Thursday night," said Andrea Evans, owner of In the Pink.

Evans offered big discounts and incentives to shop local on Small Business Saturday.

Customers like Rita Mudrenko took notice.

"This is what makes the business and the community that we live in," said Mudrenko.

"For us, we like that it's a little more unique items that you can find instead of mass retail. We also don't really like to fight the crowds," said customer Becky Ribbens.

According to the Small Business Administration, the nation's small businesses have accounted for 64 percent of new jobs that have been created during the last 15 years.

It's a statistic local business owners and valley residents can appreciate.

"30 to 50 percent income for their year comes in this holiday season so it's significant," said Michelle Ahlmer, with the Arizona Retailers Association.

Ahlmer expected a 4 to 5 percent increase in sales this year during Small Business Saturday compared to last. Those sales are key to surviving a tough economy.

"if you don't have the small boutique stores there it's going to be hard to have the community around to support," said Ahlmer.

Evans says sales jumped 20 percent last Black Friday and hopes the calculated risk she took Saturday pays off.

Dozens of valley business participated in Small Business Friday by offering additional discounts.  American Express gave Expresscard holders 25 statement credit for shopping at stores signed up for the event.

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