PORTLAND Little boxes in Portland are again looking to compete with the big box stores for your attention this holiday season.

Small shops are banding together to make a big impression.

The idea for Little Boxes came three years ago to Betsy and Will Cross, the owners of Betsy & Iya's in Northwest Portland.

Within weeks they put together a plan to showcase the importance of shopping locally for the holidays, especially on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

Background: Little Boxes' compete with big boxes on Black Friday

The first year, 90 businesses came together to map out a strategy involving discounts and incentives. This year, so far, 164 small businesses are on board. And it could reach 200.

To me it's about community, about this amazing city that we live in and having an opportunity to explore new neighborhoods, said Betsy Cross.

Strength in numbers is working. Visiting a little box and making a purchase gives you a 10 percent discount at another little box.

The more stores you visit, the more entries you gain in the raffle giveaways, from trips, to an iPad, to shopping sprees.

The concept for little boxes is drawing attention from other cities. Seattle, Dallas and other cities have shown interest in creating their own versions.

More: Portland businesses offer shop-local holiday deals

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