FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Today (Nov. 30) is a day for shoppers to support their local entrepreneurs.
Small Business Saturday helps attract people to stores in downtown Fayetteville and Fort Smith.
With shoppers frequently buying online these days, and buying from big retailers, the connections customers can have with the local businesses is unmatched.
“They go there to see that person when they have something specific. I have customers that’ll Facebook message me and say, 'can you hold that for me please' and, 'I’ll be there tomorrow,' and of course we’ll do that,” said Allison Crans, the owner of Foxtrot in Fayetteville.
Down in the River Valley, one small business owner has been growing relationships with the people in Fort Smith for decades.
“You know this is the time of year you get to see em and they bring their kids and their grandkids. And we’ve been busy all day. That last customer told me his nephew was in yesterday and got a pair of boots," said Sam Wald, owner of Tip Top Western Wear.
Wald has been serving folks for nearly 60 years. At first, when his dad opened the store, they only did boot repairs. Then as time went on, they decided to expand the store and put in more products.
The quality of service and the quality of the boots have kept customers loyal.
“And we provide a service. You come in you try on a pair of boots, if it’s a little tight we stretch it for you. If the side seam bites you we smooth out the side seam, we got tools for that, we can kinda custom, custom fit," Wald said.
In Fayetteville, over a dozen small businesses will participate in "Shop Small Y'all," a local version of Small Business Saturday.
Many of these local shops use this event, as well as social media and word of mouth for marketing.
“When someone’s out wearing our clothing a lot of times we get people coming in being like, 'so I saw my buddy was wearing this jacket and he told me where to get it so I came here because I want that one same jacket',” said Casey Dulaney, the store manager of Hubbard Clothing Co. on the Fayetteville Square.
From enabling economic growth to keeping more local artisans works on the shelf, Crane said it's good for Fayetteville to keep shopping small.
“Almost 75 percent of that money is gonna stay right here locally," Crane said. "It’s gonna go into people’s paychecks and it’s gonna go back into the inventory that we’re selling. And so it all stays right here, it doesn’t go out to a big corporation."