BOSTON (CBS) – The Santa hat gave away part of the mission. Katie Martin and her mom were out to buy presents, but specifically gifts from locally owned shops in their Roslindale neighborhood.

Christina and Katie Martin browse holiday cards. (WBZ-TV)

Christina and Katie Martin browse holiday cards. (WBZ-TV)

Related: Boston’s Best Small Business Saturday Shopping

“It’s a nice way to support the community and the stores usually have neat, cool things that you can’t find at the malls,” said Christina Martin, Katie’s mother.

A Small Business Saturday tote bag. (WBZ-TV)

A Small Business Saturday tote bag. (WBZ-TV)

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh made the rounds encouraging people to shop small business Saturday.

“Forty percent of their business happens during the holiday season for the year, and we’re doing the best we can to support the small businesses in the city of Boston,” he says.

In a time where shoppers are heading to big chains and the Internet, the event helps the little guy.

“It keeps the business going; it helps grow the business,” said Elizabeth Swanson, owner of Birch St. House & Garden. “What I found over past few years is people come in all year round so it’s helpful year round for business.”

At Boing! JP’s Toy Store, this Small Business Saturday’s numbers top last year’s.

“I think it’s so much of a better experience, too. It’s hard to get lost in a store list this, and it’s hard not to get help in a store like this,” says shopper, Jason Silver.

The Silvers said part of the attraction to their Jamaica Plain neighborhood was the small shops, and this day helps ensure that community feel.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports

Katie Brace

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