New Smyrna Beach hopes to take 'Small Business Saturday' further

In the midst of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is vital to Central Florida businesses. 

Southern Trends says their shop was packed with people for Small Business Saturday.

Their family has owned the business in downtown New Smyrna Beach for 35 years, but online shopping and big box stores have changed their business model.

"We have to be more selective in what we’re purchasing. Make sure we’re not offering what someone can go to Amazon and get," Co-Owner Southern Trends Catherine Jones said. 

Small Business Saturday encourages people to shop at mom-and-pop retailers.

The National Retail Federation expects 66 million people packed into small businesses across the nation on Saturday. 

"If you support your local community through your businesses it makes a stronger community for you as well," Co-Owner Southern Trends Glenn Edward Jones Jr. said. 

Director of the Institute for Economic Forecasting at UCF Sean Snaith says Florida's economy is strong and local retailers should see a boost in sales this holiday season, but he says online shopping has changed the game. 

"It’s hard for a locally owned small business to compete head-to-head with a Walmart or Target so they find little niches that aren’t being served," Snaith said. 

New Smyrna Beach is taking the small business to push a step further.

The city is working on banning chain stores downtown to keep it local. 

"There’s a desire in the community, from many in the community, to protect this, to acknowledge that this is what makes us unique," said Mayor of New Smyrna Beach Russ Owen. 

Local businesses believe keeping chain stores out of the downtown area would help the community.

"We don’t want them to come into town," Catherine Jones said. "Just like every coffee shop doesn’t want a Starbucks here. We can’t compete with a national chain."

Owen says city attorneys are looking at how they could put a ban in place. The options will go before the city commission.