SARASOTA - The holiday season is in full swing and shoppers are finding more sales at Suncoast businesses as part of Small Business Saturday.

"I’m a firm believer in spending local first,” said Barbara Pugliese.

Pugliese and her sister are co-owners of Just/Because located on St. Armand’s Circle. Their shop carries handmade crafts from U.S. artists and offered 10% off everything in the store. Pugliese says Small Business Saturday allows for shops like hers to compete against retail giants.

"When you spend money on a local business 67 cents of that dollar stays her in our community so it is so important," she said. "So I’m constantly all year trying to get people to think local first and shop small.”

Sandra Bristol has made a tradition of coming to St. Armand’s Circle every year on Small Business Saturday. Bristol says she makes sure she stops at Just/Because to add to her growing list of favorite small businesses on the Suncoast.

"It’s important because it helps keep the money within your location, within your town, and it just feels good to do that,” said Bristol. 

The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime was another hot spot for shoppers looking to score some great holiday deals. Co-owner of the Bazaar Kim Livengood says the 30 vendors who call the Bazaar home have offers for the whole family.

"We have art going out the door, we have clothing, we have jewelry," said Livengood. "So we have something for everybody and people are definitely taking advantage of the deals and getting their shopping done.”

And Santa couldn’t stay away from the small business deal, as he made a surprise appearance at the Bazaar to encourage others to shop local this holiday season.

"It is important to remember to shop small, you know we can’t compete with the big box store" said Livengood. "We just hope everybody keeps us in mind when they’re shopping."

But the holiday shopping doesn't end here. Online shoppers get their credit card ready for Cyber Monday.