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The shopping deals continue with Small Business Saturday

Saturday - 11/24/2012, 5:09pm  ET

Local shops promote Small Business Saturday

WTOP's Thomas Warren reports from Bethesda.

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Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Black Friday is over, but businesses nationwide are offering deals for the third annual Small Business Saturday.

Deals vary from store to store. Some participating shops are offering discounts, while others are giving away free items.

Jean Card, spokesperson for the National Federation of Independent Business, says small businesses are important to the economy, and shoppers who spend money near their home invest in their community.

"When you're dealing with a small business owner, or the staff at a retail establishment or a restaurant, you know that those are your neighbors and those are local jobs, and all the money stays within your community," Card says.

Gillian Roth, co-owner of the family-run business Urban Country in Bethesda, says customers are imperative for bolstering the local economy.

"Our customers keep us in business," she says.

Katria Young, manager at Tugooh Toys and Yiro in Bethesda, Md. says small businesses can provide more for the community than corporate retail stores. Her store offers book readings, arts and crafts and other free activities for children.

Small businesses also offer merchandise that consumers won't find on department store shelves, Card says.

"For example, that special gift that no one else has, that thing you can't find anywhere else...and also customer service," Card says.

The National Federation of Independent Business has a list of Small Business Saturday deals and American Express has provided a map to find small businesses based on location. On Twitter, shoppers can follow @ShopSmall and use the hashtag #SmallBizSat to find deals.

If you have an American Express card, you can sign up to get a one-time $25 statement credit when you spend $25 at a participating small business on Saturday. Enrollment in this offer is limited, so if you're interested sign up now here.

WTOP's Thomas Warren contributed to this report. Follow @mbaschWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)