By Kristen Johanson

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As the holiday shopping season continues its kick-off this weekend, Saturday is the day to remember “the little guys.”

In between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday, a chance for neighborhood merchants to compete with big box chain stores.

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“It’s actually our best sales of the year three years in a row,” said Brandy owner of Little Apple Shop along Main Street in Manayunk.

She says Small Business Saturday helps to bring in people from neighboring communities.

“I guess it casts a wider net,” she said. “I do believe there are a lot of people from the Main Line that come down. We’re close enough to the Main Line, where even though we’re in Philadelphia technically, it’s a small shopping district that they’re able to reach.”

Meredith Gorlick owns Latitudes and Longitudes, selling local art and novelty items.

“This is my favorite holiday,” she said. “I see numbers go up when the season comes.”

It was the first time for some who were popping in and out of local boutiques.

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“It’s gorgeous here. I’m kind of mad I haven’t come before,” said one shopper. “I was like ‘let’s get out there and help these small businesses.'”

And to help drive business and attract more shoppers, the city is offering free parking on Saturdays through the end of the year.

“It’s such a gift to all of our customers that the meters are free from Thanksgiving to Christmas starting at 11 o’clock,” Brandy said. “It really makes it so much easier for us as businesses to have people come down and not have them be concerned if they have change, if they’re going to find a place to park.”

Anna owns the clothing shop, Thread.

“I think it’s a nice incentive for people to come out,” she said, “they don’t have to worry about parking.”

A simple idea, welcomed by those ready to shop and spend.

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