Denver shoppers show their support for Small Business Saturday

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DENVER –A day after the madness of Black Friday, and just a few days before Cyber Monday hits, Colorado shoppers helped support mom and pop shops for Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday, which was created by American Express in 2010, is held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to support local, independently owned shops. Shoppers are encouraged to shop small to help local businesses that create jobs and help boost the economy.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock helped kick off the third annual Small Business Saturday by inviting residents of Denver to shop small with him and Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce CEO Kelly Brough.

Denver's "Parking Angels" were also giving away free parking vouchers in Downtown Saturday as an incentive for shoppers to visit Denver's shopping centers and businesses throughout the holidays.

We’re just a few days into the 2012 holiday shopping season, and already there is good news that doesn’t involve “door busters.” 

The National Federation of Retailers says they expect to see sales rise about 4% this year.

That’s music to the ears of local, small business owners like Paul Bonacquisti, who owns Bonacquisti Wine Company in north Denver. 

“I make wine, this is my place,” Bonacquisti said. 

His business is an award-winning, urban winery that brings in grapes from the Western slope, then crushes and bottles its own wine on site.   

“Wine is a great gift, anyway.  Nobody turns it down and frowns upon it; Why not a local wine from a local winery?” Bonacquisti said.

While inside his winery, a number of groups dropped in Saturday to taste-test.  He said last year was his best year yet, but he expects to do even better this year.                          

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