Among the newest shops in Little Tokyo is the Okayama Kobo bakery and cafe, located in the lobby of the Miyako Hotel on First Street. Using pure Hokkaido flour, serves favorites such as shoku pan and a tasty Kobokuma (above), a bear-shaped bun filled with vanilla bean custard cream. (MIKEY HIRANO CULROSS/Rafu Shimpo)

As the holiday shopping season shifts into high gear, don’t forget about your local shops and merchants. Today, Nov. 27, is Small Business Saturday, an annual day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities.

In a response to the fervor created by Black Friday, the concept of a day to celebrate and support small business during the busiest shopping season of the year was founded in 2010 by American Express and has been officially co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Historically, reported projected spending among U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reached an estimated $19.8 billion, according to the 2020 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey commissioned by American Express. The survey also found that 97 percent of shoppers recognized the positive impact they can make by shopping small and 85 percent of them reported they also encouraged friends and family to shop small as well.

Lists of local businesses, as well as maps to shops in your area, can be found at the SBA’s official website,  

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