Small Business Saturday Helping the Community

Crowds of shoppers were hitting the streets for the third day in a row this week, but this time hitting up small businesses.
MONROE, WEST MONROE -- Crowds of shoppers hit the streets for the third day in a row this week, but this time not clambering for the best deal on a T.V.

They're looking for something more on Small Business Saturday.

"People today, they've done all the big shops now and they're coming to the smaller shops," said Michael McMahan, President of the Downtown Merchants Association. "They're shopping for more individual items."

As more shops on Antique Alley in West Monroe opened up Saturday, shop owners said the advantage to shopping small lies in the wares they hold inside their doors.

"We have anything from furniture, small items, china, jewelry, vintage clothing, anything anybody would want for a gift," said Rialto Sales Clerk, Phyllis Kerrigan. "They don't have to go to the mall. We've got lots of stuff here."

Other store owners said the importance of Small Business Saturday is giving to these stores who will give right back to the community.

"So, we spend income that we make back into the community, so that money doubles over and triples over and works over and over again," McMahan said.

Sometimes you find a good cause to give to when you shop smaller, like at Mimi's Boutique on the Downtown River Market, with their many crocheted winter hats in the shape of any animal you can think of.

"My whole family's crafty and so my grandma does this," said Mimi's employee, Veronica Butler. "She can do one of these hats in one day."

That's even more impressive, considering the family said their grandma suffered several strokes in her life.

Anything the boutique doesn't sell, they donate.

"After every craft show, we normally take the stuff that didn't really sell and we put it in a separate box and then at the end of the year, we normally just send it to St. Jude's or Oshners," Butler.

Store owners said getting more and giving back are just some of the perks of "shopping small."

"Big shops offer special discounts where they do deals on different items, but you're on a one-on-one with a person who actually owns the item, owns the store, so you can work with that person to try and get you a better price," said McMahan.

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