JACKSONVILLE, NC - Following Black Friday, thousands of shoppers celebrated Small Business Saturday, recognizing locally owned shops in the community. 

The U.S. Small Business Administration reports small businesses in North Carolina employ more than 1.5 million people across the state. 

Moving every couple years, one military spouse says small business ownership gave her the opportunity to create a transferable career for herself. 

"This is our 6th pcs move and I've been fortunate to take my business with me everywhere we've been relocated, and received by the community very well in all of those locations as well," said Lakesha Cole, owner of She Swank Too. 

Cole wants to remind communities across the state, while the holiday shopping season is in full force, it's important to shop local and support small businesses.