The Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce is encouraging residents to support the region's small businesses as part of kick off to the holiday shopping season.

Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber, says the majority of the chamber's over 1,200 members are small businesses that have an ever increasing impact on the economic strength of the region. "Small Business Saturday is all about supporting local businesses," said Herman. "This is the time of year when everyone is in search of special gifts for family and friends. That's why it is important to visit local small businesses to see what they have to offer." Herman added "there are hundreds of small businesses in the region with the products to meet your shopping needs" and he "hopes local shoppers from Flint to Fenton and beyond will come out Saturday and find new businesses to support."

According to a recent survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, 78 percent of those surveyed said they planned to spend more time shopping at small independently owned businesses this year. Small Business Saturday, which falls on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, is in its fifth year.

To find businesses in the area look at the member directory and the Made in Flint & Genesee link here.