IRONWOOD - Many area residents decided to shop locally Friday to score some deals for the holidays.
Today is Small Business Saturday, a nationwide campaign through American Express to stress shopping locally.
"Buy local," Trina (Puisto) Portugal, of Fort Atkinson, Wis ., formerly of Ironwood, said, while shopping at Uncommon Goods in Ironwood on Friday. "It's awesome, because you find unique stuff you can't find in the big box stores."
While some Gogebic Range residents headed out of town to shop in Marquette, Wausau, and Duluth, others traveled home to the Ironwood area to spend time with family.
Pam Rose, of Indiana, came to Ironwood to visit family, and said she always makes one stop when she visits. "I always have to stop at Ben Franklin," Rose said. "We need one in Indiana."
Rose's relative, Lori Rose, of Ironwood Township, said she likes to shop here to support local residents. "We like to keep local people in business," Lori Rose said.
According to Beth Cychosz, of Lafayette, Ind ., shopping is part of the holiday tradition.
"We are here to visit family for Thanksgiving, and we've come up here every year since 1999," Cychosz said. "And every year after Thanksgiving, we come to this street (Aurora Street in Ironwood) and shop."
Big box stores begin their advertising for Black Friday shopping as early as October, but for smaller businesses, using local advertisements in the newspaper and on the radio helps.
According to Rachel Hubbard, owner and operator of Superior Shoes in downtown Ironwood, using social networking sites like Facebook or Twitter can help.
"This year, we used Facebook and sent out emails to let people know about sales and business has been good so far," Hubbard said. "Our customers are loyal and great to us."
While shopping at big box stores may add excitement to the holidays, shopping locally can provide some relaxation.
"We tell our customers that they can shop at the big box stores early, but then come to us," Hubbard said. "Come and relax where there are no lines, and you still can get a great deal."