By Hadas Kuznits, Steve Patterson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Owners of small stores Saturday were encouraging people to skip the malls and shop local. It was all part of Small Business Saturday.

You’ve heard about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but what about Small Business Saturday? Casey Lynch, co-owner of Street Glitter Gallery in Fishtown, says it was a promotion created several years ago by American Express to support small, locally owned businesses:

“It’s important, because the money goes directly back into the community. In a shop like ours, we have 50- to 60 different Philadelphia artists, jewelers and crafts people. So when the money is spent in our gallery, it goes directly to local artisans.”

Casey Lynch, co-owner of Street Glitter Gallery in Fishtown. (credit: Hadas Kuznits)

Casey Lynch, co-owner of Street Glitter Gallery in Fishtown. (credit: Hadas Kuznits)

Lynch says Small Business Saturday helps shops like her store compete with the pricing of large, industrial chains:

“There’s less money for advertising, there’s less money for sales. We can’t sell things below wholesale.”

But Lynch says in exchange for slightly higher prices at small, locally owned stores, consumers get quality:

“You’ll need to re-buy that mass-produced product in a few years, where if you get something handmade, that’s carefully and well done, it could last a lifetime.”

Meredith Podob owns a small business in Manayunk.

“It is my baby,” she says. “It is my number one. I just see myself in everything that I choose.”

(Credit: CBS3)

(Credit: CBS3)

Ask her about her boutique and she could go on for hours:

“It was a huge investment, but its paid off.”

Small Business Saturday was discovered in Manayunk.

“It’s a day for me. It’s a day for all the small businesses that are out there,” Podob says.

These days, you don’t have to use American Express to participate in Small Business Saturday.

“But if you’re a small business owner and contact (American Express), and tell them that you’re participating in Small Business Saturday, they’ll send you reusable tote bags, door mats, balloons, to give out to your customers,” explains Lynch.

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