Local merchants host Small Business Saturday

Holiday shoppers are invited to bag trips to national chain stores and visit local art galleries, gift shops and restaurants this weekend on Small Business Saturday.

From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the city will participate in the national endeavor for the fourth year, showcasing about 50 shops.

“We encourage people to come into the visitor center on North Division Street. We have downtown maps with the local businesses listed on them and we’ll be open all day,” said Laura Soper, the city’s Director of Business Development. Free coffee will be flowing for the public.

Shoppers who stop by with a receipt from a local shop can enter a drawing to win a $50 gift card.

Founded by the American Express company, Small Business Saturday, Soper said, “is a win-win because we get to tap into what American Express is doing and the dollars they are spending to encourage our own local businesses.”

“We get a lot of people. We’ve had pretty good reports from our downtown businesses in the past. Some of them say it’s their busiest day of the year. We see an uptick in shopping,” she said.

Research has shown that when local businesses are supported, $68 of every $100 stays in the community, Soper said.


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