BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Many large retailers welcomed shoppers early this morning for Black Friday deals, but some local businesses are getting ready for Small Business Saturday.

“Small Business Saturday is celebrated each year the Saturday following Thanksgiving,” said U.S. Small Business Administration Lower Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi branch manager, Monica Stuber.

She said the U.S. SBA has collaborated with American Express since 2011 in support of local small businesses.

Stuber explained that there are 128 thousand small businesses in the Rio Grande Valley and said small businesses create jobs and grow the economy making local businesses important to support during events like Small Business Saturday.

“Last year thousands of communities across the nation supported that day and it really helped small businesses remain resilient through the pandemic and we’re hoping to do so this year as well,” said Stuber.

The day is dedicated to getting people to support local businesses and Stuber said there are several ways the community can support.

“You can help them by purchasing your holiday presents, locally. You can use this hashtag, #smallbiz or #shopsmall, to help show support, she said.

She recommended businesses take advantage of Small Business Saturday by promoting specials and using social media to attract customers to the business.

Owner of Motley Hat Company – The Hat Shop in Brownsville, Tom Ortega, said his business was closed last year due to the pandemic, but is now open and hoping for a better season this year.

“You know with the whole Thanksgiving being a back-to-back thing with Black Friday, we expect a lot of people to come out and support our local shops,” said Ortega.

Ortega’s business sells hats, apparel, and photography sessions and he said he supports other local entrepreneurs and their businesses by sharing their social media posts and encourages the community to do the same.

“Even if you find us on Instagram or on Facebook, a share or like or anything like that helps out a lot,” he said.

Stuber recommended stopping by local eateries while shopping local and posting photos of experiences to create awareness of the local shops.

A new business in Brownsville, Willidean Bagels, opened in time to participate in Small Business Saturday and co-owner, Maribel Lopez Morales is hoping to receive support from the community.

“Telling your friends and family that we’re here in this community of Brownsville, that’s one of the main ways to promote and suggest that we’re here, said Lopez Morales.

She said the business offers bagels that are cooked “New York Style” and they are excited to be one of the only to offer their product in the area.

“We offer really unique things that are not corporate, and we need the support from the community, so we’re excited about Saturday,” she said.

Stuber said the U.S. Small Business Administration continues to offer financial support and resources to businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

For more information on the U.S. Small Business Administration and its resources, you can visit their website.