Major retailers have been advertising their Black Friday deals and holiday specials for weeks. But local leaders and small business owners are hoping shoppers will help keep their money here in Western New York. YNN's Kaitlyn Lionti tells us about the push to "Give Local a Chance" and "shop small" this holiday season.
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- While crowds of holiday shoppers will head to malls and large chain stores Friday, they won't be the only places with special offers and deals.
About 200 stores and businesses in Elmwood Village are taking part in the second annual Black Friday Boutique Crawl.
"We have a lot of stores here that carry things that no one else does in the area so it's a great way to find things for your family and friends," said Carly Battin, executive director of the Elmwood Village Association.
Most of the participating businesses will open at 8 a.m. and are hoping continue the success last year's event brought to the area.
"We definitely got some repeaters, I have some people that come in on a weekly basis, so it did help greatly," said Junide Brice, owner of Fierce Accessories.
Battin said,"We had stores on the street that reported sales increases of up to 60 percent, which is just really great to see for local stores on that day."
The push to shop locally will continue this weekend with Small Business Saturday.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown joined small business owners Wednesday to highlight the variety of options throughout the Queen City.
"We have wonderful shopping in the city of Buffalo and we have some of the most unique small businesses found anywhere," said Brown.
Like Buffalo Adore Gift Shop, where all items in the store are made by Western New Yorkers.
"There's lot of unique talent here in the area and it's great to be able to feature everything and give the artists the opportunity to kind of showcase it," said Andrea Dacey, owner of the gift shop.
Small businesses also boast an improved shopping experience - like United Men's Fashion, which has been serving Buffalo for more than 80 years.
"We're in it 365 days a year, we're constantly focusing on the customer and providing the best value and service. So, at the end of the day, we're a better deal," said Bob Cohen, the owner of United Men's Fashion.
And the "Give Local a Chance" campaign works to encourage shopping locally throughout the holiday season and year-round.
"We all know what happens when people buy local, the money stays here and the fruits are visible," said Louise Sano, owner of Global Villages.
"You're buying specifically, you're thinking of the person you want to buy for and you're prioritizing your community at the same time," said Sarah Bishop of Buffalo First.