BEND, Ore. -

The holiday shopping season is here, and Black Friday is traditionally one for scoring nationwide deals, but what about your options downtown? Small Business Saturday is a different way to shop for your loved ones.

The season started with a bang on Thanksgiving, but the big day for local businesses is Saturday, in downtown Bend and elsewhere.

The business manager at FootZone, Melanie Mangin, said Small Business Saturday is for promoting local businesses.

"You know, it's always a great day to showcase small business,” Mangin said. Friday. “It gets such great nationwide media coverage that it's just a great way to showcase the small businesses."

Many businesses are expecting big crowds to come out and support what makes Central Oregon unique.

"We know that a lot of people will be down here for Small Business Saturday, because a lot of us own businesses and have families that do. So it's going to be a lot of fun," said small business owner Sherri Lane.

As a business owner, Lane said shopping local is beneficial to everyone in the community.

"Well, you help support your neighbors and family,” Lane said, “I don't want to say anything about big box stores, because they're good for what they're good for."

Mangin said Small Business Saturday adds something different than other holiday shopping days.

"With people using the Internet so much and shopping online, it's super important for small businesses to offer that next level of service that they can't really get at big business or big box stores and that they certainly can't get online," Mangin said.

Because of what she's seen so far this year, Lane said she's optimistic local shoppers will turn out to support downtown.

"Well we did last year, and I know I’m up this year, so I think it will be pretty good," Lane said.

 For a list of the Bend stores participating in Small Business Saturday, visit http://www.downtownbend.org/.