PETALUMA, Calif. (KGO) -- In the North Bay, there was big push on Small Business Saturday for shoppers to think local when buying holiday gifts. Some cities are creating experiences to help local merchants get a piece of the yuletide shopping dollar.
Santa and Mrs. Claus got a rock star welcome from hundreds of fans when they arrived by tugboat in downtown Petaluma.
Santa's arrival was kicking off the holiday season on Small Business Saturday, a day to some love for local shops to give them a financial boost.
"Every time you shop online, you take away from your own community. By shopping small and local, you give people jobs and put money back in the community," said Marie McCusker, Executive Director of the Petaluma Downtown Association.
"Buying USA then shopping 'local-er', as local as we can get is important to me," said Adam Camacho from Petaluma.
Adam and Lexiss Camacho were shopping for gifts inside The Treasury on Petaluma Boulevard.
"I've lived here most of my life and it's important to support where I'm from," said Lexiss Camacho.
Owner James Peo says support from the community during the holidays, helps everyone.
"You see the people, you build a relationship, you see the owners when they're working at their place of business. It's beautiful we can actually have a contribution," Peo said.
In San Rafael, local businesses were also trying to grab local holiday dollars with an event. They closed much of Fourth Street to do it.
The 'Winter Wonderland' Street Fair was helping to get the word out that local businesses are here, some are still recovering from the pandemic.
"A lot of stores down here, we rely on you guys coming down and shopping and spending money with us. That money goes directly into the community," said Salon B owner, Bishlam Bullock.
President Joe Biden posted on X: 'Small businesses are the engine of our economy and the heart and soul of our communities.'
Local store owners hope shoppers keep that in mind, all through the holiday season.
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