Columbia stores prepare for Small Business Saturday

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COLUMBIA - With Thanksgiving just a week away, small businesses are getting ready for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26. 

One of those small businesses is Lizzi & Rocco's Natural Pet Market. Jessica Schlosser, the owner of Lizzi & Rocco's, said because the pet shop just opened a new location in downtown Columbia, this year will be different. 

“This particular location, we’re kind of winging it. We don’t really know what to expect. We think that in our downtown location, more boutique items, more items for the pet lover will be more popular as opposed to items for pets," Schlosser said. 

She said Lizzi & Rocco's is stocking up on its best-seller items to prepare for Small Business Saturday. 

Lizzi & Rocco's will have discounts on certain toys, $5 "bounce-back coupons" for every $25 a customer spends, and other package deals. 

Schlosser said the unique small business culture in Columbia helps her business and other businesses thrive. 

"We are so fortunate to be in such a great community that values local business," Schlosser said. "Black Friday, I’m sure that tons of people are at the big box stores, and Black Friday is traditionally a great business day for us, but Small Business Saturday has been successful every year we’ve been open because people love shopping locally in this town. They love it. We love that they love it."

Sydney Ockerhausen, a Columbia resident, said she will be shopping on Small Business Saturday to support her friends.

“I think it’s important to support small businesses because I actually have a lot of friends that own small businesses. And I’ve seen all the hard work that they put in and all the hours," Ockerhausen said. 

Ockerhausen said small businesses in Columbia are not like small businesses in other cities.

"It’s different from anything I’ve experienced in St. Louis," Ockerhausen said. "I feel like there’s just like a wide variety of small businesses here, it’s not always just like little small boutiques and stuff."

For Schlosser, supporting small businesses is not limited to Small Business Saturday. 

"I know a lot of small business owners and employees shop exclusively, if they can, at other small businesses," Schlosser said. "That’s part of why I love having our business in this community because it's just, it’s a very supportive community for local businesses.”

According to American Express, the credit card company started Small Business Saturday in 2010 "to support small, local businesses."