Shoppers and stores benefit from small business Saturday

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Shop Small. Shop local. That's the simple message behind Small Business Saturday. After big crowds at the malls for Black Friday, locally-owned businesses are hoping you won't forget about them when doing your holiday shopping.

Eyewitness News kicked off the day in one town participating for the first time.

Denise Rodenhuis and her daughters already love to shop local.

"Okay, girls, go ahead and get a bag for each one of us! Love it," said Denise.

But, on this Small Business Saturday, they're making it a point to give back to their local businesses of Franklin.

"Oh, doesn't it smell delicious," exclaimed Denise.

Middle Davids Artisan Candles downtown on E. Jefferson St. is one of their favorites!

"Girls, smell this one. That's the Crème Brulee--it's phenomenal," said Denise to her daughters.

"I think it's important that we support the small businesses around here. I know a lot of them personally and I just want to make sure that we let them know how much we appreciate their business and the ability for us to come down and shop and not have to go up to the mall," said Denise.

For the store owners, like Tauria Catlin, discounts and incentives on this day are their way of showing appreciation.

"My dad started making candles in 1969-believe it or not," said Dan Catlin.

In the back, Tauria's husband, Dan, makes all of the candles. He's thrilled to be a part of Franklin's first Small Business Saturday.

"Everything we get from the community, we tend to give right back to the community. For us, if the church is having a silent auction, they come and see us. a lot of the big stores can't do that because they're not connected in the same way," said Dan.

It's a message that's popping all over the region from local merchants selling unique items in Zionsville--to personal service in Carmel and to Indy's downtown including Mass Ave.

Now the hope is shoppers who may have tried a local business for the first time will become repeat customers all year long.