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      Shopping small makes big impact

      Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday make up the biggest stretch of shopping days each year.

      It adds up to big spending and big profits for major retailers.

      But don TMt forget about the little guy.

      Downtown boutiques were bustling over the weekend, full of shoppers that wanted to get out and support local business owners.

      We TMve got a lot of customers that are loyal, fortunately, that always save some of their budget, shopping budget, for boutique shops like us, said Fustini TMs owner, Jim Milligan.

      Fustini TMs employees 15 people in the Traverse City area. Milligan said Small Business Saturday is a good reminder of how important small businesses are for the local economy. The salary we pay our people goes into the local economy, Milligan said.

      The Downtown Development Authority in Traverse City said most shops reported higher Saturday sales in 2012 then 2011.

      Downtown Gift Certificates have helped support business growth.

      The DDA said they are currently $50,000 ahead of where they were last year at this time. They have already sold more than $200,000 in certificates. Their goal for 2012 is $350,000.

      Leaders with the City of Petoskey also reported higher Downtown Gift Certificate sales.