By Ron Sanders, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS ) — It’s partly an answer to big box retailers promoting “Black Friday” the day after Thanksgiving.  Now “Small Business Saturday” is being proclaimed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Tim Morse, whose West Roxbury ski and snowboard shop, Wicked Sharp, features local products such as Bean snowboards, is totally sold on the idea of “Small Business Saturday.”

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“I think the small businesses in all of these communities are what support the communities instead of the bigger businesses because most of our dollars, if they’re spent here, they stay here,” said Morse.

Morse says dollars he makes he spends at neighboring businesses which the City of Boston is promoting through its Holidays on Main Streets campaign kicked-off today in front of Tim’s store.  The initiative includes neighborhood contests for the best-dressed storefront and free parking hours.

WBZ-TV’s Ron Sanders reports.

Boston and New York City are endorsing “Small Business Saturday,” November 27.  It’s sponsored by American Express which is giving $100 of free Facebook advertising to 10,000 business owners who sign-up.  It’s also giving a $25 credit to a 100,000 card members who register for it.

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“The big box stores that are not here, typically, in Massachusetts or in Boston whereas these stores are owned by our neighbors and then they go and shop in the neighborhoods,” says Evelyn Friedman, director of the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development.

That department considers small businesses the backbone of the nation’s economy and, in aggregate, its largest employer.

“My experience has been that once people find out about your local business and come in, they continue to come back. So any time you can get widespread exposure and have even more people come in, it’ll be great and it’ll help throughout the year,” says Elizabeth Swanson, owner of Birch St. House & Garden in Roslindale Village.

While shop owners naturally hope “Small Business Saturday” will help them in a big way, promoters of the idea are trying to get the point across that shoppers can find some of the most unique gifts right in their backyards.

In addition to offering two free hours of metered parking on “Black Friday” and five consecutive Saturdays, Mayor Thomas Menino says any driver who gets a non-public safety parking ticket in Boston on the first three days of December can avoid the fine by turning in a toy of equal value between December 6 and 10.

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The mayor has a website offering special deals: