Nov 26, 2011 7:55 PM by Trovette Tottress
For the second straight year American Express has launched its small business ad campaign to steer holiday shoppers toward local independently owned businesses like Rock -n- Logs in Colorado Springs.
Three years ago, owner Mitchell Dillman, decided to try his hand at business when the economic downturn took a devastating effect on the log home industry.
"I had these designs in my mind for years to take logs and add the steel", said Mitchell Dillman.
This fall he entered the American Express contest and was selected as one of its winners. It's an award he says he's grateful to have.
"Businesses like Google and American Express are reaching out to small businesses like myself and giving us the opportunity to really get the word out about what we're doing", said Mitchell Dillman.
Small stores are at a disadvantage against big retailers who have big marketing budgets to attract shoppers.
Business owner Candance Toscano decided to go into business for herself when her husband lost his job. She says she hopes the national push will help more people understand just how important small businesses are to the economy.
"Definitely small business are the back bone to our economy. We contribute up to 50 percent of employment and we're what pay for police [and] firefighters. You're supporting your local economy", said Candance Toscano
Many people who came out to shop Small Business Saturday say they enjoy the fact that they're able to shop with their friends and neighbors.
"A lot of local people come in and you get to say hello to everybody. It's just a much nicer shopping environment", said Sara Benavides
A nicer environment small business owners are hoping will attract customers year round.