DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock emphasized what he said was the importance of buying local by picking out a few gifts for his family on Saturday.

“I did a little shopping today for my girls at home, my wife and daughter,” he said.

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He was touting Small Business Saturday, a nationwide effort to convince shoppers to spend their dollars at local business, not chains and big-box stores.

“It helps to keep our employment base strong and keep our tax base moving forward,” he said while shopping at Hailee Grace, a women’s boutique in Larimer Square.

Hailee Saterfield and Grace Buttorff, best friends from college, own Hailee Grace.

“We just love clothes,” they said.

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They’re just one store offering discounts for Small Business Saturday.

“Eight-five percent of the businesses in Colorado are small. They employ half of our workforce in Colorado,” Kelly J. Brough, the CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, said.

Every dollar spent locally keeps 68 cents inside local communities, backers say.

Since its creation in 2010, Small Business Saturday is marked in nearly 3,000 neighborhoods across the country.

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Hancock shops on Small Business Saturday (credit: CBS)

Hancock shops on Small Business Saturday (credit: CBS)