OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Many Oakland businesses will be open Friday and all weekend as part of the city’s Plaid Friday Weekend event to encourage holiday shoppers to buy locally, city officials said.

More than 200 retailers and other businesses are participating, giving shoppers an alternative to big-box retail stores and malls.

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Shoppers can see specific offers from businesses at oaklandgrown.org/holiday2017.

City officials said Plaid Friday was an Oakland idea originally and has now spread to other cities in the U.S.

Plaid Friday founder Kerri Johnson said in a statement, “The idea behind Plaid Friday is that small businesses are like the individual threads that together create a strong fabric and community.”

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Johnson owns Marion + Rose Fine Goods at 461 Ninth St. in Oakland.

City officials said Plaid Friday Weekend is the start of a season-long effort to encourage residents and visitors to shop locally.

On Friday as well as Saturday and each Saturday through New Year’s Day street meter parking will be free for the period posted on the meter.

City officials said spending a dollar at a local business improves the city’s economy three times as much as a dollar spent at chain store and 50 times as much as a dollar spent at an online mega-retailer.

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