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Local businesses asking shoppers to 'forget the mall and shop small'

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Local businesses asking shoppers to 'forget the mall and shop small'

Last year, a record 95 million people shopped small on Small Business Saturday.

According to the Missoula Downtown Association, for every $100 spent at a local business, roughly $68 of that stays in your local economy.

"It's a lifestyle. You want to support your community".

"The locals come over and support us and even the tourists. because we have very, very unique things. And I was like, 'No, no, no!' But you know they couldn't handle the crowd", Clarke said. Supporting and commemorating these local shops is, essentially, what Small Business Saturday is really all about.

Small business owners know they have their work cut out for them in the changing market landscape.

Shoppers were urged to head out into their own neighborhoods today and shop at the locally owned businesses around them.

Lynn Cohen, owner of Interplay Couture in Sparta, said her staff goes the extra mile - from follow-up "Skype shops" (a video chat with a store representative) or a visit from the mobile showroom (complete with mannequins, wine and music) - to ensure her clients receive that much-needed attention.

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"There's something about going somewhere and finding something specifically for a person versus like getting it on Amazon or whatever", said Jess Kirsch. I'm not saying not to shop at them.

Next door to Interplay Couture in the Sparta Theatre Center is R.J. Mars, which has been in the township for 53 years.

"It's our second year tradition, I guess", Cable said.

Just downstairs at another locally owned store, Sweet and Sassy, the special salon for young girls and tweens is giving discounts on haircuts and room decor. "It's always good because the smaller guys need help".

"We do feel it's has helped", said Kathleen Unkefer, a designer for the florist business.

"Downtown, Main Street U.S.A.is not about Black Friday, in most cases".

"Before that - back in, like, 2000 - we saw a lot of online shopping, because it was the new thing", he said, adding that, over the years, more and more consumers started seeing the advantages of buying local from local merchants.

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