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Small Business Saturday benefits local shops

Merchants are urging consumers to shop at local mom-and-pop businesses as part of Small Business Saturday.
November 30, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Make way for Small Business Saturday, now that the Black Friday rush is over.

In preparation for Saturday's shopping rush,. mom-and-pop shops in Monrovia and other Southland cities have been stocking up their shelves.

It's all part of a nationwide effort started in 2010 by the U.S. Small Business Administration and American Express. The day was created to boost business for small independently owned businesses that can't compete with the larger retailers.

The Christmas spirit is alive and well in Monrovia, where retailers on Myrtle Street say Small Business Saturday is also a time of David vs. Goliath, as mom-and-pop shops sway customers to stop in their stores before heading to the mall.

Merchants like Pam Fitzpatrick say it's the can-do spirit that keeps them going.

"Isn't that what America is all about? And that's what small business is all about? It's like the guts to do it, to work 24/7," she said.

On South Lake Avenue in Pasadena, Ten Thousand Villages puts a local face on a business that is global.

"It's a non-profit, so it is unusual for a business," said Sam Bills of Ten Thousand Villages.

In this store, sales clerks are volunteers. The organization works with small enterprise groups in 40 countries.

"We hear from people who the only other opportunity afforded to them was maybe to beg in the streets," said Bills.

Another small business with its welcome mat out is the Downtown Women's Center on the 300 block of Los Angeles Street.

"We have a resale boutique where we sell hand-made products made by women who are currently homeless here on Los Angeles' Skid Row," said Carla Guerrero with the Downtown Women's Center.

All proceeds from purchases go to help people like Magdalena, who helps craft some of the items. Already, she says it has changed her life.

"It is a huge change for me, because the street is cold. Especially in the winter," she said. "But not for the last year...not anymore."


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