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Shop Locally in Bel Air on Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24

Start your holiday shopping at locally owned stores during Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is on Nov. 24 this year, two days after Thanksgiving. It is a day for everyone to support the small businesses that their community thrives on.

American Express founded the day in 2010 to help small businesses get exposure during the holiday season, when they might be otherwise overlooked. With retailers buzzing around the holidays, it is important to support local small businesses that rely on their neighbors in order to continue prospering and building the local economy in Bel Air.

"The biggest factor is that out of the money that is spent locally, a far greater percentage of that money is spent locally again," Scott Walker, Director for Bel Air Downtown Alliance, said.

When shopping online or at big box stores, little to none of the money spent is later spent comes back to the community where the store is located.

"You’re helping A. your shop owner or neighbor who owns a shop and then B. they spend that money locally," Walker said of shopping locally.

Last year, 100 million people nationwide participated in Small Business Saturday by shopping at locally owned stores to help boost the economy and their communities.

A number of Bel Air businesses are offering deals for the day, including 15 percent off any purchase of $50 or more at Tiny Toes and Harford Artists Gallery. You can find an extended list of local deals here. And if you get hungry while shopping on Main Street, MaGerk's is offering $5 Cheese Steaks for American Express card users.

You can also “like” Small Business Saturday on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/shopsmall.

Everyone has locally owned businesses in their community, and shopping on Small Business Saturday is the perfect way to give back to the businesses you know and love in your community.

TELL US: What small businesses do you patronize in your town and what makes them great? Share in the comments below. 

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