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Small Businesses Push Shopping Local

Aired 11/29/11 on KPBS News.

San Diego's small businesses are working to make sure they get a share of the holiday shopping pie this year. The push began with small business Saturday, but it'll go on all month.

— Small business owners and local politicians hoped to rally shoppers to neighborhood stores this past weekend. "Small Business Saturday" kicked off what will be a critical time for the city's 95,000 small businesses.

"A lot of people, these days, like to be financial activists," said Benjamin Nicholls, executive director of the Hillcrest Business Association. "And when they shop, they want to see that there money is supporting their neighborhoods and the places that they like."

The major retail competition for small stores comes from shopping malls, Nicholls said.

"I don't know that its fun to go online shopping with your friends. I don't know that it's fun to go shopping at the shopping mall. I think if you go out to a local business district you have this social experience that doesn't occur other places," said Nicholls.

San Diego officials says shopping at local business district funnels money into the general fund. That pays for a host of city services.

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