Small Business Saturday turns into big dollars for Bay Area retailers

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The National Retail Federation expected 67 million people to shop small on Small Business Saturday. (KGO-TV)

The National Retail Federation expected 67 million people to shop small on Small Business Saturday.

"You get more of a personal connection to the people who are making your goods," Casie Stocking, a shopper from San Francisco said.

Stocking stopped by the SF Etsy Indie Holiday Emporium at Pier 35 on Saturday. The event brought online small businesses face to face with customers.

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ABC7 News traveled around the shopping site and found tea from Chico, chocolate you could drink from Santa Cruz, and a ceramic designer from San Mateo.

"It's a lot of work I'm not going to lie," Morgan Roberts, owner of Candy Relics said. "We put a lot of time into this business, but its nice at the end of the day we're working for ourselves and working on building this business together."

A new study from American Express says an average of two-thirds of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the local community.

"We don't have that budget to go to Facebook marketing or Google marketing so this is great," Tom Wang, owner of Elos said.


Wang's company makes compact and wider skate boards.

ABC7 News found it interesting to learn the stories behind the companies on Small Business Saturday, like Madee's Dog Bakery.

"We'd always made our dog treats just from home you know and so we just started marketing them and this just kind of worked," Abbi Hickman, COO of Madee's Dog Bakery said.

Hickman's sister also has a condition called Dysautonomia.

"We started this business to help raise money to donate to a cure and also help with medical bills for our family," Madee Hickman, CEO of Madee's Dog Bakery said.

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The sisters were selling their products at a flea market on Treasure Island.

Tara Driskell, owner of Aether Life, a jewelry company, has been selling her product at the flea market for the last three months.

Small Business Saturday was good to her. "Yeah it's been the best day I've had here so far," Driskell said.

Across the Bay in Oakland retailers held a Small Business Saturday event called "Do it for the Culture - a black women's holiday market" featuring almost 30 businesses and food trucks owned by black women.

Organizers say the event has been going on for 7 years, but this years was the biggest yet.

"These folks are not necessarily getting into some of the larger markets that are happening in other parts of California. So, we decided to create our own and create a space that's intentionally centering black women and making sure these products get featured to the community," event oragnizer Alyah Baker said.

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