HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Small business owners in Chinatown Honolulu say it was the busiest Black Friday yet and they were slammed for Small Business Saturday.
"I'd say about 99-percent of the time people didn't even bother going to Ala Moana this time. A lot of them, at least coming into our store, was specifically focusing on small businesses and a lot of people trying specifically to shop at places down here at Chinatown, which is wonderful. So completely evading the big box and going directly for the small," said owner of Barrio Vintage, Bradley Rhea.
American Express coined the name "Small Business Saturday" in 2010. It falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and aims to keep local small businesses afloat, which in turn feeds more money into the local economy.
"There's just really unique items here that a lot are made locally. So it's always nice to get a special gift or find something that is a little more unique than what you would find in a Macy's," shopper Tina Griffith said.
In 2012, $5.5 billion were spent on Small Business Saturday alone. That number jumped to $5.7 billion in 2013. Although it's too early to say what the numbers are for this year, projections show another increase this holiday season.
So what's the big deal about the little guys?
"We get to know our customers, we know their names, we know their kids' names. I think people really like that aspect of it and I think that they also like that they can find something really unique," said owner of Owens & Co., Missy Owens Mull.
"Lot of locally made goods. We do specifically vintage here so people look for quirky one-of-a-kind vintage pieces," Rhea said.
Plus, you don't have all that hustle and bustle at the malls and you still get the steals and deals.