'You evolve or you die': Bay Area shops gear up for Small Business Saturday

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Small businesses nationwide are gearing up for Small Business Saturday.

The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce says this year more businesses have closed compared to the number of businesses that have opened.

"I wasn't planning on it, but now I might," said San Francisco resident Brenton Lay referring to shopping local.

Small business owners across the Bay Area really hope you do.

Inside 'Foggy Notion' in San Francisco's Inner Richmond neighborhood, Alissa Anderson prides herself on selling local products.

Cactus face scrub, local honey from bees in San Francisco, candles, bags and special oils are some of the products.

"As oppose to a big store your money is staying in the community and you're getting an experience that you are not going to get at a big store," said Foggy Notion's owner Alissa Anderson.

According to the SF Mayor's office, a 1% increase in spending at local restaurants and retails will generate an additional $113 million for the city's economy.

The Castro Merchants Association says that increase in revenue is more than necessary.

"In the last couple years we've had about 20 businesses close here in the Castro, 18th Street, Market Street, and a lot of it has to do with the Amazon effect which is how I like to call it, the online effect," said Stephen Adams with the Castro Merchants Association.

To prevent more losses the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce has several strategies.

"So, we do things like 'small biz connect' where we ask local residents to pledge to purchase from local businesses and we ask large employers to commit 5% of their purchasing to local business," said Jay Cheng with the SF Chamber of Commerce.

Business owners are staying positive, having their sales and keeping in mind that tomorrow is a big day to shine - Small Business Saturday.

Isaiah Carter, Manager and professional shopper for clothing store "Body" in San Francisco says their secret to remain open for decades is their customer service and creativity.

"You evolve or you die, and you have to listen to your customers," said Carter.
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