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Black Friday losing luster; does 'shop local' day win?

By Brittany Weiner
Published On: Nov 19 2013 09:22:40 PM CST

NewsChannel 21's Brittany Weiner talked to Bend businesses about the importance of Small Business Saturday.

BEND, Ore. -

Retail experts say Black Friday should be a bit calmer this year. A Nielsen study says just 13 percent of people surveyed will visit a store on Black Friday, down 4 percent from last year.

Local businesses hope that means more people will shop locally on Saturday.

"This was a storm tree that fell down in 2008 on our family farm, and so we've made a desktop out of it," the owner of Natural Edge Furniture, Mike Ross, said Monday.

Ross is an artist of all things wood. He's also a business owner in Bend, participating in this year's 'Small Business Saturday.'

"Everything's local from here," said Ross. "The guy that ran the sawmill, the guy that manufactures it in the shop. they're your neighbors."

Crafting everything from tables to headboards with old wood, Natural Edge Furniture is just one of the many small businesses that keep our community going, with the help of people like you.

"We wouldn't be in business if it wasn't for our local support," said Ju-Bee-Lee co-owner Kristen Gilreath.

This will be her first time taking part in the relatively new shopping holiday.

"We'll be highlighting certain items that we feel like are going to be fun for the holiday season," said Gilreath.

Although most stores don't open at the crack of dawn, you can find some great deals at local businesses. Not just keeping more money in your pocket, but in your community as well.

"America is realizing that it's not always about how cheaply, but that there's got to be value in what we're spending our dollars on as well," said FootZone owner Teague Hatfield.

Another great thing about shopping local is being able to see exactly where the product comes from.

"You know, we get a lot more hugs than handshakes when we deliver our furniture," said Ross. "People are so excited to have one of our pieces in their home."

"It's good to remember that you know there's a local influence and what a great impact it can have on a community," said Hatfield.

Small Business Saturday is November 30th, that's two days after Thanksgiving.

A list of the stores participating in downtown Bend will be posted on downtownbend.org.

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