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The Berkshires

Saratoga Springs celebrates Small Business Saturday

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Albany/HV: Saratoga Springs celebrates Small Business Saturday
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Small Business Saturday is a nationwide initiative that kicked off in 2010 to help encourage seasonal shoppers to spend locally. This in response to the hefty Black Friday discounts big box retailers offer up each year. Our Brooke Selby has more on what one local city is doing to draw in shoppers.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -- Saratoga Springs and horse racing may go hand in hand, along with its bustling downtown filled with unique boutiques, bars and restaurants. But this time of year, the city's offering holiday shoppers something special when spending locally.

Saratoga Holiday Craft Fair organizer Ann Welpert said, "Small Business Saturday falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and ever year, that's when we have the show."

As part of the push in Saratoga, a craft and artisan marketplace featuring local artists is offered each year at the City Center.

Shopper Ann Ryan of Saratoga Springs said, "I always try to shop local with family owned businesses and I come to this every year."

Welpert said, “This is the epitome of small business in this room: 115 crafters, many of them and many of them only exhibit here.”

All this foot traffic at the City Center leads to one idea: The hope is that many of the 3,000 customers visiting the show will then take their business downtown.

Laura Pileckas of Violet's and Stella’s of Saratoga said, "People start at the City Center and the north end of Broadway and they work their way down.”

Welpert added, "Saratoga does have a nice draw year round. Obviously, the summer track season helps, but this season of the year, they can definitely use the business."

Whether you are shopping, eating or just browsing around town, there is something for everyone.

Pileckas said, “Foot traffic is great. We really get the local people who are helping us out, people in town that are visiting family and we really give a nice discount.”

Many locals say this day celebrates the idea of thinking global but shopping local.

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