President Obama shops at Va. bookstore for Small Business Saturday

President Obama and his daughters, Malia, right, and Sasha (off camera) shopped at One More Page Books in Arlington for Small Business Saturday. AP Photo.

President Obama and his two daughters took part in Small Business Saturday by visiting the independent neighborhood bookstore One More Page Books today in Arlington, Virginia.

Situated between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, “Small Business Saturday,” first started in 2010 by American Express, encourages people to support their community’s small businesses by shopping locally for one day.

In return, small businesses across the area, like those in Old Town Alexandria to the U Street Corridor in downtown DC, offered small discounts to their shoppers for shopping in the area’s local shops.

Shop owner Jeff Albert lives and owns a small business in Old Town and has participated in the special day for small businesses since it started.

“The first customer that came in today said ‘I’m here to support your business’,” Albert said today in his interior design and gift store, Decorium, “We’re small business and we put our heart and soul into everything that we do. We’re not a big conglomerate, everything that we do we take very personally.”

On average 68 cents of every dollar spent in a small business stays local. Shoppers hitting the sales today said that makes a difference, knowing their holiday money spent in small businesses has much more of a chance at going right back into their community than other larger chain stores.

“It’s just much more personable here,” shopper Maryanne Stahl added today, “And you're actually able to meet the owners and talk to them about what you see and what you can buy and how you can help them."

Some shoppers said it’s not only the experience of shopping locally but also the end result, usually a better gift.

“I know I am going to find the perfect gift for my nieces and nephews and godchildren, like so much better than a bigger chain,” Shopper Carrie Broome said today, “I know that it’s a better quality. I may pay a little more but it’s made in Germany or maybe here in the US, I know it’s not something that’s made in a factory over in Asia.”