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Small Business Saturday Grows Over the Years--Mikayla Lewis

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.--Shopping small is getting bigger each year. American Express created Small Business Saturday in 2010 to meet every independent business owners prime need: more customers.

It's the first time, Parnassus Bookstore in Green Hills participated in Small Business Saturday. 

Parnassus co-worker, Ann Patchett said, "Business has been great, although its always great the weekend after Thanksgiving, but its really just been more fun."

It was also more profit for small business like Parnassus Bookstore today. As of last year, American Express reported the day brought in an estimated $5.5 billion dollars in consumer spending.

American Express Small Business Day spokesperson, Patricia Norins explained, "The day is about supporting and celebrating the local independent businesses that are such a vital part of our communities  across the country."

Patchett added, "It represents what we're all about: human interaction."

Patchett is also a local author and opened Parnassus in 2011. The bookstore provides a variety of readings, clubs, events and of course...books.

Patchett explained,"If those kinds of services are valuable to you then you need to shop in your own community. If you want to have jobs in your community then you need to support your local independent businesses... all of them and that's what we offer."

Parnassus also offers local authors' books. Several of those writers pitched in at the bookstore today, as part of Indies First. Coordinating with Small Business Saturday, Indies First is a national effort to emphasize the importance of buying local books in local bookstores.

Local author, Victoria Schwab said, "With chain bookstores being kind of the way side, it's all about community and it's all about local support. So many of us thrive on the fact that people buy locally ."

Fleet Feet Sports store sits two doors down from Parnassus Bookstore. The specialty running shop opened its second location a week ago, and offers marathon training, running groups and personal service.

Fleet Feet Sports marketing director, Jared Reynolds explained," You're going to get a much more personal touch here when you come into our store. We're going to sit down with you and try to help you with your needs."

Both stores agree they rely on the community.

Patchett said, "Nashville is an amazing city and it's been so supportive of us."

American Express says the small business movement is also growing because of social media. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook provide a free way to advertise and reach many people at once.

Follow Mikayla Lewis on Twitter @MikaylaFox17

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