Of the more than 300 chamber members, Yoshioka estimated that approximately 80 percent are classified as small businesses — although he noted that, based on the federal definitions for “small business,” chains such as KTA Super Stores also qualify. “It’s an important time, economically, for the island,” Yoshioka said. Mellon said a small-business purchase keeps 3.5 times more money within a community than a similar purchase at a big-box retailer would. “You’re paying for kids’ ballet lessons and funding our soccer teams,” Mellon said. “People may not realize how much more money comes from local businesses.” Tracie Yoshimoto, Canine's Delight owner of The Most Irresistible Shop in Hilo, said previous Small Business Saturdays have generated boosts in sales, particularly as her gift shop is relatively unaffected by Black Friday. In order to attract shoppers, Yoshimoto said customers who spend more than a certain amount of money on Small Business Saturday receive a gift — a set of chopsticks. Bell, Book &Candle owner Sara Bresnahan said last year’s event brought a nearly 25 percent bump in sales. “Small businesses are so critical to every town,” Bresnahan said. “They’re what gives us our character. People are still going to need the big stores, but if you’ve been to one Target, you’ve been to every Target.” Bell, Book &Candle will eschew its usual hours and open on Saturday for sales as well as a book signing by spiritual counselor Erika Ginnis.