BLACKFOOT — It started with Black Friday and ended with Small Business Saturday.

It’s been a long weekend of shopping for many people.

Blackfoot may not have quite as many stores and shopping centers as bigger surrounding towns, but there were still more vehicles found in parking lots than usual Friday and traffic seemed a bit heavier than usual around town for a mid-afternoon Friday.

The parking lot for the Blackfoot Movie Mill was fairly well packed in the afternoon with Black Friday shoppers taking a break from the stores and the snowy driving conditions and settling down for a bit in the theaters.

An Ace Hardware cashier said business was good Friday, but not much busier than normal.

As expected, the parking lot at the Blackfoot Walmart store was pretty well packed for Black Friday, the Salvation Army kettles and bell ringers greeted shoppers and sang Christmas carols outside the doors, and inside Walmart nearly all of the cash registers were busy.

But weekend shopping at this time of year isn’t reserved just for big crowds at the big corporate stores any more. Smaller local businesses have been getting more attention since the early part of the decade with Small Business Saturday, giving shoppers a chance to give support to the more specialized hometown shops and keeping dollars in the community.

Small Business Saturday was created on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to

encourage people to “Shop Small” and bring more holiday shopping to small businesses.

According to an estimate from data on businesses with under 100 employees, for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., approximately 67 cents stays in the local community, resulting in a positive impact for communities year-round.