MISSOULA – Missoulians braved the cold and snow to support small businesses once again.
Each year on the day following Black Friday, small businesses across the country come together to promote shopping local.
MSO Hub Assistant Manager Trey Eure said Small Business Saturday helps bring people out to support local shops.
“It just helps with the community. Your money stays here in Missoula, versus going to some corporate office somewhere else, and you know it helps keep our prices down.”
Small businesses have created more than eight million jobs since 1990, and this year in Missoula about 50 shops got involved with small business Saturday.
Downtown Missoula Partnership marketing and events director Lincoln Mansch says its fun for the business owners to have this day to band together.
“A lot of them are friends, they know each other really well. So it’s good to come out and not just do the Black Friday shopping where you go to the big stores but then to come out here on Saturday and do the small local places too.”
Shoppers were out and about all day Saturday to take advantage of deals and sales.
Mansch posted up with snacks, hot cocoa and information for passers-by. There was even a bingo card for people to get stamped at participating stores and win a prize.
Green Light owner Sabrina Smith says it’s important to give small businesses the spotlight.
“We need to get as much attention as we can compared to the box stores because we drive the community, we support the community, we are the community.”
American Express started Small Business Saturday in 2010 as a way to connect consumers with local businesses.
The day became officially recognized by the US government in 2011 and has continued to grow throughout the country.
Nationwide an estimated 108 million consumers reported shopping or dining at local businesses on small business Saturday in 2017.
The Missoula Downtown Partnership hopes to add even more businesses to the roster next year.
-Katie Miller reporting for MTN News