Washington, Ill. -- Local merchants hope to reap huge benefits from this big shopping weekend.
While there are sure to be great deals on Black Friday, they say it will not be the deals alone that could surprise consumers on Small Business Saturday.
It's not unusual for Washington business Owner Lori Peifer to order a hard-to-find gadget for a customer at her store. She says personal service is a big marketing tool for her business.
"I love it when someone brings in great-grandma's handmade old kitchen tool and everyone wants it and I said I can get you that and they're so happy," she said.
Whether it's customer service, unique gifts, or special promotions, local merchants will be showcasing it all on Small Business Saturday. They're hoping to reap the spillover from Black Friday.
"It can make or break us for the year and we hope to have a good turnout on Friday and follow through on Saturday and Sunday and we've got promotions all the way up to Christmas," said hardware store owner Mark Hodges.
Regional civic and business leaders say small businesses are vital to the Central Illinois economy
"They employ just over half the private sector workers in our region. When you shop small businesses you help support the personality of our communities," said Vickie Clark, President of the Economic Development Council of Central Illinois.
Metamora resident Joe Baird agrees.
"I've been in little towns in the past where main streets are vacant and I don't want to see that happen anymore," Baird said.
They say for every $100 spent locally more than half of it returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures.