Saturday marks the second Small Business Saturday, an annual event to promote local shopping and fuel the economy.
Small Business Saturday is a day that celebrates small businesses and hopes to drive shoppers to local merchants across the United States during the busiest shopping weekend of the year.
American Express and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg created the annual daylong initiative last year to boost sales for struggling small business. "One purchase is all it takes," a press release for the event says. "So pick your favorite local business and join the movement."
Statistics from American Express show the inaugural event had some impact: Forty-one elected officials declared Nov. 27, 2010, Small Business Saturday, and people sent 30,000 tweets using the hashtags #SmallBusinessSaturday and #SmallBizSaturday.
American Express said that on Dec. 2, 2010, small retailers that accepted American Express Cards, including those that sell apparel, bikes, books, electronics and flowers, saw an estimated 27 percent increase in sales on American Express Cards compared to the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2009.
The list of supporters for 2011 continues to grow as more cities, states, advocacy groups, public officials and corporate partners jump on board.
While this is a national effort, many East Valley businesses are taking part in this event, which can be comparable to Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
"The more you shop local, the more your dollar stays within the community," said Anne Gill, chief executive officer and president of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce.
Many local businesses are taking part in the event. To find a complete list of small businesses in your area, visit the Small Business Saturday Facebook page where you can find a link that will allow you to enter your ZIP code for a list in your area.
According to Gill, some businesses might be having deals and specials on Saturday to encourage more local shopping.
American Express started this effort last year and more than 200 organizations have joined American Express OPEN, the company's small business unit, in declaring the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday.
While pledging to shop local Saturday, you can fuel the community's economy and change the way people do business in Ahwatukee.
"Supporting local businesses is an important part of not only our community, but all communities," Gill added.
• Ahwatukee Foothills news intern Haley Buntrock contributed to this report.