HUNTINGTON - After enjoying their Thanksgiving feasts and storming shopping malls on Black Friday, Long Islanders hit local stores yesterday for "Small Business Saturday."

Jeannie Weller owns Jake's Island Outpost in Huntington, which sells "Life is Good" clothing. She says she's hoping today's event will help keep her store afloat amid struggling economy.

"We need people to understand that it's really important more than ever to shop local," Weller says.

The idea behind "Small Business Saturday" is to help shoppers realize that mom-and-pop stores may have a lot more to offer than big-box retailers, including unique merchandise and personalized service.

In addition to deep discounts at Huntington stores, the Chamber of Commerce is also offering 25 percent off any one item in participating stores today in the village.

Huntington residents say they are on board with the idea of buying local.

"The store owners are struggling to stay afloat, so if we can support it in a small way, it keeps the town alive," says Bruce Segal.