Published: Nov 29, 2013 3:43 PM EST
Updated: Nov 29, 2013 3:52 PM EST

FORT MYERS, Fla.- Black Friday will soon be history, and squeezed between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is Small Business Saturday. That's the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and locally-owned retailers say it's a big day and they expect strong sales.

"This has reached a point where many people know the importance of supporting the local places, the mom and pop operations, not just the big box stores," says Suzanne Brown, general manager at the Franklin Shops in downtown Fort Myers.  

Ann Sheridan, manager of the Shell Factory in North Fort Myers, agrees. 

"People know what it means, and many do want to support the local businesses. We have such unique and different gifts, the kinds of things you just don't find in the big stores," Sheridan told WINK News.

American Express says sales nationwide from the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2012, increased by 21 percent compared to the same day in 2011.  

Shoppers like Marianne Sink, are fully aware of what Small Business Saturday means.

"I like to support the locals. I don't have to get in the big crowds at the big stores. Plus, you find some different things that not everyone has already seen," she says.