BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Thanksgiving weekend is considered the Super Bowl for retailers! Giving businesses the boost they need this holiday season.

American Express started Small Business Saturday seven years ago, to encourage customers to shop local.

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Shopping small goes a long way.

“When you spend money here at the small businesses like Culinary Architecture, it stays in your community,” said Ben Hyman, of Pigtown’s main street.

Small Business Saturday shines a spotlight on the local shops in Pigtown.

“We can cater to the community in a much more tailored way that a box store can,” said Piper Booher, co-owner of Culinary Architecture.

Last year’s consumers spent more than $16 billion at local stores on Small Business Saturday.

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“Raise awareness for our local entrepreneurs in our own community that are our neighbors who live and work among us adds value to our neighborhood,” said Hyman.

The day allows businesses to kick off the holiday shopping season while highlighting their businesses and attracting new customers.

“It’s definitely something we try and focus on a lot to try to come here locally a lot but something drummed up to draw attention to small businesses is helpful,” said Kevin Brennan, who lives in Pigtown.

Last year more than 95 million people shopped on Small Business Saturday. This year retailers are hoping to see that number grow even bigger.

During the holiday shopping season,  experts say about 25 percent of consumers purchase from local businesses.

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