ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The National Retail Federation said 166.3 million shoppers are expected to hit the stores this holiday weekend, and according to a survey from, Small Business Saturday may be gaining on Black Friday in popularity. The personal finance site said 59% of those surveyed said they planned to shop on Saturday, compared to 56% who said they planned to look for deals on Friday.

What You Need To Know

  • Local retailers and restaurants will once again mark Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26

  • says 59% of people it surveyed said they planned to shop on Saturday, compared to 56% who said they planned to look for deals on Black Friday

  • Businesses in St. Pete said they're fortunate to have the support of the community year round

"We're expecting it to be a really good day for us. Small Business Saturday is really the bread and butter for brick and mortar small businesses," said Jennifer Schultz, co-owner of The Merchant and Crislip Cafe on Central Ave. 

David Fischer owns ZaZoo'd, another Central Ave. business. He said all of their weekends leading up to the holidays are fairly busy, but local competition has cut into their Small Business Saturday crowds.

"It used to be our biggest day of the holiday. It's not so much anymore since Shopapalooza Festival goes on downtown," said Fischer. "So, we find that people come out kind of more evenly throughout the weekend."

The survey showed small businesses may lag behind during the overall holiday season. It found 65% of people were planning to shop small throughout the season, behind larger retailers at 78 percent. Both Fischer and Schultz said they're fortunate to have the community's support all year long.

"I think St. Pete is a great city for local businesses, period. I own five businesses in town, and I think the community is great about supporting all of them," said Fischer.

"I've lived in St. Pete for about ten years, and the thing that I fell in love with and my husband fell in love with is really the supporting local. So, the community that we're in already believes in supporting local, and so for us, we're very fortunate that we're in a city who cares about supporting local and cares about helping fulfill the dreams of us who take the risk and open a business," said Schultz.

Small Business Saturday was started by American Express in 2010. The company website includes information and resources, including a map tool that can help you search small businesses in your area.