MAR VISTA  (CBSLA.com)  —   Sweetly nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday comes Small Business Saturday.

For the past six years, shoppers have been asked to celebrate the small stores, the mom and pop businesses that compete with the big retail giants for every customer they can get.

CBS2’s Adrianna Weingold spoke to some owners in Mar Vista on this competitive day.

Doors opened early, with business owners like Jolie Chitwood, eager to spread the word about why it’s important to shop small. Chitwood started Soaptopia in her Venice bungalow and has since grown it into an international business with stores in Mar Vista and Japan. Her handmade soaps are also sold in retail chains like Gelsons and Whole Foods.

“As a small business you’re looking to get to know your neighbors and our Small Business Saturday type of events and our neighborhood has made our business grow to more than just a neighborhood business,” Chitwood says.

At Atmosphere Cafe, owners Lionel and Nathalie Arnoult hope shopping small will help attract customers to their French American cafe.

“It’s a way for all the businesses to know each other to be unified to make the neighborhood, up,” said Arnoult.

Small Business Saturday started six years ago as an alternative to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, encouraging holiday shoppers to support brick-and-mortar businesses that are small and local.

“Small businesses need foot traffic, they need people to come in and get to know their products and so we hope this day lifts entrepreneurs and it lifts America,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, an Administrator of the US Small Business Administration.

A new survey out Saturday — from the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express–  shows that, on average, consumers plan to spend 35 percent of their holiday dollars at small businesses.