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Small Business Saturday asks shoppers to hit the stores

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Today is Small Business Saturday, the day holiday shoppers are asked to support the smaller stores in their communities. 

SBS was created in 2010 to make sure local businesses are not neglected during the holiday shopping madness.

While several stores are struggling to recovery from the economy, others in the tri-state area are trying to recover after Hurricane Sandy.     

The third annual Small Business Saturday is here but for businesses impacted by Hurricane Sandy, this year the communities support is more important than ever.

Today is Small Business Saturday on AMEX. 

Business was brisk at the Dry Dock in Red Hook Saturday as customers scooped up wine and spirits -- and it's a good thing.   

Dry Dock was one of the countless businesses sidelined by Sandy's flooding. 

"Sandy wiped out our store that is three blocks down the street, we've got months of rebuilding," said Ron Kyle, owner of Dry Dock Wine & Spirits.   

Kyle was able to find a temporary spot to relocate for the holiday season and he's hoping the next month will help him recoup a portion of his losses.

Today was a good start as part of Small Business Saturday -- customers could receive a $25 credit from American Express for shopping at participating local businesses, and other perks. 

"I saw they were offering a sale, thought we would rather spend our money here than somewhere else," said customer Michael Brown. 

"We almost always shop small business anyway but especially today you got to do it to pump it up, make it mean something," added Scott Stubbs, another customer. 

Along Van Brunt Street, the storm did a number on stores already bruised by the recession. At Foxy and Winston, a stationary gift store, owner Jane Buck says now, after Sandy, many businesses in Red Hook are fighting to stay afloat. 

"It could make or break everybody down here this year this Christmas, said Buck. 

It is a reality in many neighborhoods including Dumbo, where some merchants donated a portion of proceeds to Sandy recovery.

"We lost 70 percent of our inventory just last weekend but we were just able to get back on our feet," said Mickey Hyun of Powerhouse Arena Bookstore.  

The good news is, at the Powerhouse Arena Bookstore, foot traffic has been strong for both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. 

"We've been doing actually really good for sales yesterday and today, so hopefully it will keep up," said Hyun. 

The small businesses are hoping today will give them a boost but many still need a lot more help to get back on their feet. Today Mayor Bloomberg announced a new $5.5 million matching grant for businesses hit hard by the storm.

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