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Joyce Jones shops for a black scarf with Stacy Dempster, owner of Merle Norman, Friday afternoon. The scarf is a gift for a family member who is difficult to buy for, said Jones, who has been shopping at Merle Norman since it opened nearly nine years ago.

Photo by Sarah Lang

Between the hype of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a new holiday shopping tradition is afoot, one local Lebanon businesses hope will catch on.

Small Business Saturday is today, nestled between two major holiday shopping days. It was started in 2010 by American Express to “help small businesses get more exposure during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year,” its website states. Last year, more than 100 million people shopped at independently-owned small businesses on the day. Now in its third year, American Express states today’s Small Business Saturday will be even bigger.

And it could be true if Black Friday shopping is any indication of how today will go. Even though the Courthouse and all city offices were closed Friday, several vehicles still dotted the parking spaces around the Courthouse as shoppers visited local businesses in the square.

Tyler Best, of Tyler’s Best Home Furnishings, opened his store at 11 a.m. Friday, and at around 2:30 p.m. he said it was the first time he was able to take a breather.

“Today’s been a really good day for us, so I can’t complain,” he said. “Usually it’s hit or miss with Black Friday, but this is the first break I’ve had since I turned that open sign over.”

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