FORT SMITH (KFSM)- Small Business Saturday began in 2010 to encourage people to shop at smaller, local shops. Throughout downtown Fort Smith, those local shops have signs to encourage shoppers to do just that.
"We started at opened at 10 a.m.," said Kelli Miller, Indie sales associate. "It's been a great, steady flow all through the morning and now into the afternoon."
"It's been pretty busy," said Brady Reagan, owner of Sacred Grounds. "We've noticed a big increase in sales today. I guess just due to the foot traffic of downtown for Small Business Saturday. It's really good."
Shoppers said that shopping locally has its perks.
"The prices for one thing," said Cindy McAllister, shopper. "The one on one that you get with the people that work downtown and just the closeness you feel."
The businesses like the relationships they build with their customers.
"I feel like you can have more of a relationship with your customer and they really appreciate that," Reagan said. "People like being called by their first name, remembered, what their order is and all that stuff."
"We love the ability to have a one on one contact with our customers," Miller said. "We thrive on it."
Small Business Saturday is proof that shopping locally help city's economies.
"That what we're all about," McAllister said. "Especially this area of Fort Smith and that's just keeping our money here and like I said, it continues to keep our economy to get bigger, and that's what we want."
According to American Express, 95 million people participated in Small Business Saturday and this year, that number is expected to go up even more.
Small Business Saturday is celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.