The city's smale-scale merchants hoped to cash in on the holiday shopping rush with their own special day, "Small Business Saturday." NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
The "Small Business Saturday" campaign on Saturday focused on social networking to get traffic into small businesses between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, two of the busiest shopping days of the year.
Sponsor American Express has given 10,000 business owners $100 worth of free Facebook advertising to help drive online buzz and get customers into their stores.
It is also giving $25 credits to American Express cardholders who register and shop at small businesses on Saturday.
"Between Black Friday being gobbled up by big boxes and then Cyber Monday bringing the Internet sites in, independent business got elbowed out," said retail expert Cinda Baxter. "So Small Business Saturday is all about staking a claim on one day this weekend, to try to reconnect with consumers and start that relationship back up again."
Diamonds and Dials, a jewelry shop in Herald Square, is one of thousands of small businesses participating in the event.
"We don't have anything like this. At least somebody's going to look at this and say, 'We're going to help you, we want to be there for you.' I think it's a great idea," said Diamonds and Dials manager Jimmy Tarzy.
Customers are also encouraged to help promote their favorite businesses through Facebook and Twitter.
For every person that "likes" Small Business Saturday on Facebook, American Express will donate $1 to Girls Inc., which encourages young women to become entrepreneurs.
Plans are already in the works for other events designed to promote small businesses during the holidays and year-round.
In Harlem, a community-based initiative called "The Power of One" is encouraging spending, saving and investing in the neighborhood. A discount card provides shoppers who visit Harlem-based businesses with hefty savings.
"If you haven't been here and you're looking for a time to do it, the holidays is a great time. Come and be a part of the Harlem family," said Princess Jenkins of the Brownstone Boutique.
For more information about Small Business Saturday, call 311 or visit SmallBusinessSaturday.com or nyc.gov/consumers.