While this Friday, or Black Friday, is considered one of the busiest shopping days of the year for big box stores, there’s an effort underway in Iowa and nationwide to brand the following day as Small Business Saturday. Brad Jones, a spokesman for the National Federation of Independent Businesses, says just as the name suggests, shoppers across the state are urged to visit their hometown businesses.

“It’s those small business folks who put the jerseys on the Little League teams and help support the things at the high school and all of the various charity events,” Jones says. “It’s really an opportunity for the general public to thank them.” Jones says many small businesses plan to offer extra deals for shoppers on Saturday.

Those bargains might be greater this year with five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas compared to last year. “I know there’s a lot of small businesses that are going to be offering certain discounts or coupons or things for shopping with them that day,” he says. More than 98-percent of the businesses operating in Iowa are considered small businesses.

This event, Jones says, is an effort to reinforce something the federation tries to promote every day. “Shop local,” he says. “It’s always good. Always support your small business folks because they certainly do support your local community.” The National Federation of Independent Businesses is asking local business owners to contact them via the group’s website with activities and offers for Small Business Saturday.

There’s a list of Iowa businesses taking part at:  www.nfib.com/small-business-saturday