BURLINGAME (KCBS) — A campaign to encourage shoppers to support local merchants rather than big chains is being dubbed Small Business Saturday.

Some business owners in Burlingame have survived the down times, and are hopeful for a strong holiday season.

American Express is the primary sponsor for the event where local retailers hope to cash in on some big returns.

KCBS’ Margie Shafer Reports:

Khroskw Meskin is the owner of Graffeo Collection and has one of two outlet locations on Broadway in Burlingame.

“Black Friday does not belong to us, it belongs to giant chain stores,” said Meskin, who boasted the more intimate approach to dealing with customers.

Meskin said some of his clients began their Christmas shopping in October for items like handbags, clothing, jewelry and shoes, and he promises something different from department stores.

Down the block on Broadway, John Kevranian owns Nuts for Candy with his wife.

“We’ve been in business for 16 years at the same location and we’re a specialty candy store,” said the entrepreneur.

While he specializes in wooden and nostalgic toys, he’s not afraid to step in the modern “e-tail” world with a store website and Facebook page. Not to mention, offering some fad toys like Silly Bandz or UglyDolls.

According to a 2004 study by Economic Impact, for every $100 consumers spend at a local business, $68 remains in the local economy, whereas only $43 remains in the local economy if the same amount is spent at a chain store.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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