ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Believe it or not, the holiday shopping season is here and small business owners want you to shop local.

  • Small business owners encourages people to shop local
  • Small Business Saturday to be held Nov. 24

Jackie Zumba is a small business success story.

"We try to really pride ourselves on customer service," Zumba said. "When a customer comes in we offer free champagne, free tailoring.

Zumba's high-end retail shop, Jackie Z. Style Co., has been thriving in St. Petersburg’s Sundial  shopping center for the last four years. However, Zumba said her road to get there was anything but easy.

"There were a ton of days when I was like, 'did I make the right decision?' I went all in with this," she said. "We had a kid's store a couple of years ago that we tried that didn't work."

Small, locally owned businesses often have to compete with big box stores and online retailers.

That’s why Zumba and other business owners really count on the community.

Britney Charles has been operating Top Dog Treats for about a year. She was one of more than 150 vendors participating in the annual “Shopapalozza” event in South Straub Park.

She relies on those types of events to get exposure and says unique options and small businesses are a big attraction for locals and tourists.

"We've done a lot of research trying to find products that are best for the pets, the most healthy and natural," Charles said. "With a lot of the larger business you're not always sure what you're getting."

Business owners said they hope to continue to see support from their neighbors and community leaders.

"I sure hope they'll continue to take interest in us because I think small businesses in general are going to be the wave of the future and hopefully will take over and make a positive impact," Charles said.

Last month, President Donald Trump announced he’d be giving his second quarter salary to the Small Business Administration.

The Shopapalooza festival will be back in South Straub Park on November 24 for Small Business Saturday.