Many local mom and pop shops thrive on Small Business Saturday

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CHICAGO — Many local mom and pop shops do their biggest business of the year on Small Business Saturday.

Under a grey and drizzly sky, several shoppers took advantage of big discounts and giveaways.

At Timeless Toys in Lincoln Square, Christmas shoppers were looking for unique gifts you can’t find just anywhere.

"We're really here to find what the most appropriate and best toy for your kid is and not what the most popular item,” Timeless Toys shopkeeper Scott Friedland said.

It’s the 10th anniversary of Small Business Saturday, a concept created by American Express after the recession.

“Really, it just rallies the community around everything that makes our neighborhood so special,” Rudy Flores with the Lincoln Square-Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce said. "We have so many independently operated businesses.”

At the South Shore Connect event, put on by the local chamber of commerce, vendors said events like this are a big boost.

“You can get lost,” Akua Auset of Auset Beauty said. “Everyone is becoming a business owner so every opportunity to get out, there and educate people about what you're doing is key.”

In Andersonville, The Strange Cargo Store was a popular stop.

“I found things here I grew up with it reminds me of my childhood,” shopper Anna Leep said.

On such a big day for small businesses all over the city, it’s estimated two-thirds of every dollar spent stays in the community.

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