San Francisco mayor helps kick off Small Business Saturday

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Black Friday traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping season, but your local merchants hope you'll also participate in small business Saturday.

It's a growing effort to support local shops.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee shopped small, making a big splash by buying neckties at Assembly Hall, a store on Fillmore Street.

This was the kick off to a holiday campaign now in its third year called Shop and Dine in the 49. It encourages residents to support their neighborhood merchants and acknowledges the high cost of doing business in the city. "We can help the workforce with a higher wage, help their families, but we also need to do our share, which is let's make sure we support all of our small businesses," Lee said.

Peter Papas, owner of Blade + Blue, made the ties the mayor bought. "When I make a necktie and my label is made here, there's a label maker who has a job," he said.

In fact, a national organization called Advocates for Independent business says shopping local creates 57 jobs for every $10 million in consumer spending.

In San Carlos, the bulk of the 2,000 businesses are small. And Shop Local is more than just a slogan. The chamber of commerce sells nearly $40,000 worth of these gift certificates each year that can only be spent in town. "Purchase locally because taxes stay local, for the most part," San Carlos Chamber of commerce David Bouchard said.

And more shoppers seem to understand and embrace the movement. "I like to help the people who live in our community and keep the dollars here," one woman said.
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