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The San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce is participating in its first ever Small Business Saturday this weekend, Nov. 29. In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday to help businesses with their most pressing need—getting more customers.

SJC Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mark Bodenhamer said the event aligns perfectly with the needs of businesses in San Juan. With recent street closures due to work on Ortega Highway, business has been down and local shops have been struggling.

“It’s been very challenging,” Bodenhamer said. “Businesses only work if customers can get to them.”

On Saturday, about 50 local businesses will be participating in the event, starting with a free pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. at the Mission Grill, and followed by raffle drawings for gift certificates throughout the day in eight downtown businesses.

Bodenhamer said after this weekend, the chamber will keep encouraging residents and visitors to shop local throughout the rest of the holiday season. For more information on Small Business Saturday, visit

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