Local businesses prepare for Small Business Saturday

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COLUMBIA - Downtown businesses are getting ready for Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday is an annual holiday shopping tradition sponsored by American Express that encourages people to shop local.

"I like the people. I like the customers. I like to sell. I want to help people put their holiday outfits together or find that perfect gift that you don't see everywhere," said Fringe boutique owner, Charlotte Smarr.

A survey by National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) found 108 million consumers reported shopping or dining at local businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2017, and 90 percent of consumers agreed Small Business Saturday makes a positive economic impact on the community.

"It really supports the family businesses, instead of the just like the chain markets, and it's really supportive of all the businesses downtown," said Bethany  DuCharme, a barista at Lakota Coffee Company. 

According to American Express and NFIB, 83 percent of consumers said they plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping at a small, independently owned retailer or restaurant either in person or online. Nearly six in 10 consumers nationwide said they're aware of the shopping holiday. Among them, 80 percent said they plan to shop at independent retailers Saturday.

Some deals that Columbia businesses are offering are 20 percent off all regular priced Mizzou sportswear and hats at the Tiger Spirit store, 10 percent off of all merchandise at Lakota Coffee and all footwear is 25 percent off at Fringe boutique, which is also offering discounts on clothing.