In support of Small Business Saturday, President Obama dropped by an independent… (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images )
After the Black Friday shopping madness, small boutiques in Silver Lake were anticipating customers who were less about giant malls and more about supporting local business.
Dubbed Small Business Saturday, the shopping event was invented by American Express in 2010 to encourage consumers to spend some dollars at neighborhood shops and independent retailers.
The day has high-profile supporters such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and President Obama, who took his two daughters to a bookstore in Arlington, Va., on Saturday.
At a store called Yolk in Silver Lake, owner Maria Neuman said by noon she had already talked to a few shoppers who were motivated to browse because of Small Business Saturday.
“People have come in because they heard about it,” she said.
To entice customers, the clothing and decor shop was offering 20% off children's apparel and holiday ornaments, along with 15% off jewelry.
Neuman said she’s confident that her regular customers won’t be too tired from hitting the malls for doorbuster deals.
“There’s one person who gets up at 2 a.m. for a big screen TV,” she said, “and another who will go out and shop local businesses.”
Down the block, Melissa Lovoy decided not to unveil anything special for Saturday at Lake, her apparel and gift shop. She had already put items on sale for the long Thanksgiving weekend.
"I'm already busy running the day to day," she said, adding that even without special promotions, the store enjoyed a sales bump of 10% to 15% on the same day last year.
Lovoy, who got a reminder email from American Express as a small business owner, said the financial services company could do a better job of promoting the event to normal shoppers. Lovoy said she never got a tip from her personal American Express account that Small Business Saturday was coming.
"How would a shopper know about it?" she asked.
Black Friday shoppers smash door at Urban Outfitters
Nine protesters arrested outside Wal-Mart in Paramount
Drivers, beware: Parking lot accidents increase on Black Friday
Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi