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Small Business Saturday celebrates 'mom and pop' stores

LAWRENCEVILLE -- If you ask Mary Kay Elsberry, shopping local is just about one of the best things one can do for his or her community.

Elsberry owns Upscale Resale, a consignment shop in downtown Lawrenceville. She has been at the location for three years and was in downtown Suwanee prior to that. She is partial to the downtown square setup, which she feels is "at the roots" of local commerce.

She said that Small Business Saturday is a chance to celebrate entrepreneurial heritage and further the future of mom and pop stores.

Celebrated since 2010 on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the initiative is a counterpart to Black Friday, which features discounts from large retail stores and Internet sites.

"Small Business Saturday gives shoppers a chance to give back to the community and invest in the future," Elsberry said.

Christine Wade, a shopper in downtown Lawrenceville Friday afternoon, said she planned to visit the next day to see what deals she could find.

"I always shop local," Wade said. "What's missing with the big stores sometimes is that personal experience you get when you shop at the smaller kind of stores. You get that community feel."

Missy Wilson, co-owner of Scotland Yard Antiques also in downtown Lawrenceville, said shopping local is "the only thing that's going to keep small business owners going in this tough economy."

Added Wilson: "We have to go up against the big box type stores, and Saturday is a time to come out and support your fellow citizens and get away from the ruckus of all the big stores for the day."