BELLEVUE -- Early signs indicate crowds at the nation's malls and big retail stores are bigger than they were last year. Small businesses are hoping to cash in on that spending surge with Small Business Saturday.
Warren McPherson, owner of Vetco Electronics, has been in the electronics business for 50 years. He said it's not a competition; it's having a strategy that has kept him in business against the big guys.
"When Walmart or a large store moves in and you try to compete, you're going to lose," he said.
Instead, he sells what they don't. "You buy a TV from them, they might have a six-foot cable but we've got a hundred-footer."
Tonia Feinstein owns Clover House, a small gift shop. She admits she feels a little heat when Black Friday rolls around.
"I do feel like I have to offer a discount, which is hard to do when you're a small business," she said.
She too tries to draw attention to what she can offer the big chains can't. Most of her products are locally made.
"These sweaters are knitted by a lady in Ballard," Feinstein pointed out.
Places like Feinsten's and McPherson's are promoting Small Business Saturday to draw much-needed customers in. Feinstein plans to offer treats and a small blanket discount for the day she calls her very mini Black Friday.
"It's easier to see what's in the store and I think they have more unusual items for gifts," said customer Sandra Etlinger on shopping at locally owned stores.
Some 152 million people are expected to holiday shop Friday, Saturday and Sunday.