Santa Claus kicks off holiday season with rock star welcome on Small Business Saturday in North Bay

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PETALUMA, Calif. (KGO) — In the North Bay, there was a big push Saturday at Small Business for shoppers to think local when shopping for holiday gifts. Some cities are creating experiences to help local merchants get a slice of the Yuletide shopping dollar.

Santa and Mrs. Claus were given a rock star welcome by hundreds of fans as they arrived in Petaluma on a tugboat.

Santa’s arrival was kicking off the holiday season with Small Business Saturday, a day of giving local shops some love as a cash boost.

“Every time you shop online, you’re taking from your own community. By shopping small and local, you’re giving people jobs and putting money back into the community,” said Marie McCusker, executive director of the Petaluma Downtown Association.

“Buying American is as important to me as local, so we can buy ‘local-er,'” said Adam Camacho of Petaluma.

Adam and Lexis Camacho were shopping for gifts at the Treasury on Petaluma Boulevard.

“I’ve lived here most of my life and it’s important to support where I’m from,” said Lexis Camacho.

More: Local Bay Area businesses are hoping for an increase on Small Business Saturday

Bay Area businesses are banking on Small Business Saturday and local towns are hosting events during the day.

Owner James Peo said support from the community during the holidays helps everyone.

“You see the people, you build relationships, you see the owners at work in their business. It’s really nice to be able to contribute,” Pio said.

In San Rafael, local businesses were also trying to capture local holiday dollars with an event. To do this, they blocked the fourth avenue.

The ‘Winter Wonderland’ roadshow was helping get the word out that local businesses were here, some still recovering from the outbreak.

“There are so many stores here, we rely on people coming down and shopping and spending money with us,” Salon B owner Bishlam Bullock said.

More: Small business owners prepare for the biggest shopping weekend of the holiday season.

President Joe Biden posted on X: ‘Small businesses are the engine of our economy and the heart and soul of our communities.’

Local store owners hope shoppers keep that in mind, all during the holiday season.

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