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Small Business Saturday kicks off in San Diego County

Main streets in neighborhoods all over the city were crowded with people buying from local stores.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Inside Vinyl Junkies Record Shack in South Park, they can’t celebrate Small Business Saturday without a DJ on the decks.

The store is one of many independent businesses lining Fern Ave in South Park. It's one of many San Diego neighborhoods that has a thriving local economy.

"You need to support your people, support your community," said Heather Johnson, the owner of the Vinyl Junkies Record Shack. "It all goes back into your neighborhood. That makes the world go round."

Up a few miles in North Park San Diego, Mayor Todd Gloria was shopping for gifts amid the crowds of shoppers on 30th street.

"They're supporting small businesses in our city," said the Mayor. "The folks who employ fellow San Diegans and keep their profits, the revenues go right back into the neighborhood."

Next door from where Mayor Gloria was speaking, bookworms browsed the shelves of Verbatim Books.

Like vinyl, books saw a big jump in sales during the pandemic. Owner Justine Epstein says she’s seen more readers come through and browse her store.

"I think it's more like a discovery, a treasure hunt if you will,” said Epstein. "I think people really have a good time with that because, you know, everything is really available these days."

While some businesses might have thrived during the pandemic, others struggled to turn profits.

Mayor Gloria pointed to an initiative from the city, giving relief to businesses hurt from the pandemic.

"Earlier this week, we announced $6 million in COVID-19 relief grants for local small businesses. Over 1,000 businesses in San Diego receiving grants of $5000," said Mayor Gloria.

Grant money that will no doubt be distributed to businesses in growing neighborhoods like Barrio Logan. With the sidewalks lined with vendors and colorful storefronts, the barrio has a thriving local economy.

Xochitl Villarreal owns Casa Xovi so vi on Logan Ave.

"Because we are small businesses- we are makers and we're creators as well,” said Villarreal. "We invite the community so they can support our businesses instead of huge companies."

Small Business Saturday is about keeping money in the local economy. 

Shopping small puts money in the pockets of neighbors and friends right here in San Diego. Growing your Main St. No matter what neighborhood you live in.

WATCH RELATED: Concerns about shopping safety after a rash of burglaries at high-end stores in California (November 2021)

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