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Gwinnett residents encouraged to shop locally on Small Business Saturday

This Saturday Gwinnett shoppers are encouraged to make purchases at small, locally-owned businesses during Small Business Saturday.

The initiative is relatively new — it was started in 2010 by American Express and encourages consumers to support local, small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

“People want the personal experiences often associated with buying local and ‘shopping small,’” said Vince DeSilva, senior vice president for membership services for the Gwinnett Chamber. “Small Business Saturday is just one opportunity this holiday season for consumers to easily contribute to local economic growth and a greater sense of community.”

Last year, according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, consumers spent more than $5.5 billion dollars at small and independent businesses on Small Business Saturday.

According to the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, there are nearly 28 million small businesses in America today employing more than half of all U.S. residents, and during the past 20 years, small businesses were responsible for creating 64 percent of net new jobs.