Residents ‘Shop Small’ To Support Local Business

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Small Business Saturday, a day squished between Black Friday and Cyber Monday competing for both customers and profits.

This year, Van Buren's encouraging the community to show support for its local retailers and shop small. Several stores along Historic Main Street Van Buren will be open for Small Business Saturday.

Dozens of people were out shopping even on Black Friday, picking up holiday gifts and spending money.

Barbara Little, who owns A Little Bit of Mexico in Van Buren, said she's excited people are shopping small this holiday season, and thinking of the little stores instead of just the big-name retailers.

"They attract so much business that it's really essential for small businesses to have a small business Saturday where you can come and shop and enjoy the small merchants," said Little.

Mary Francis Rocconi was out shopping Friday, looking for things she couldn't just pick up somewhere else in town.

"We wanted to find the little, small unique things," said Rocconi. "Not just the same old, same old."

The idea behind Small Business Saturday is to get people out shopping in an effort to stimulate business at local retailers.

"There's a danger that small business is going out of business," said Phyllis Kiger, who was also out shopping Friday afternoon. "That happens a lot anymore. We need to keep these people going. We need to keep their doors open."

Barbara Morse, who owns Darb's Antiques on Main Street agreed, saying they could really use the help financially.

"Small businesses are having a hard time right now," said Morse. We just want everybody to come in and shop with us."

The National Retail Federation says holiday shoppers are estimated to spend nearly $750 on Christmas gifts this year. But how much of that will be spent at small businesses?

"We have the unique stuff that you just can't find anywhere else," Little said.

Even though Small Business Saturday is only one day out of the year across the country, retailers in Van Buren said they hope customers will continue to support local businesses and shop small year round.