BOZEMAN, Mont. - Bozeman locals took to the streets, Main Street that is, to support local businesses, Saturday, in honor of the nationally recognized, Small Business Saturday. It's a day dedicated to helping small businesses and their communities.
Dozens packed the sidewalks of downtown Bozeman, folks like Susan Seibert.
"I really support downtown Bozeman. I absolutely love it.I think it's the best part of our community," says Seibert.
Seibert didn't brave the crowds at big box stores Friday, opting to spend a little more to support local.
"I think it's a little bit of a price you pay for having a nice downtown. I grew up back east and a lot of those towns that I grew up near died and all you got is strip malls," explains Seibert.
We caught Matt Josten shopping for two women in his life- his mother and his sister. He tells us it feels good to spend his money downtown.
"I like keeping money local because, eventually, it could come back around to me," says Josten.
According to smallbusinesssaturday.com, when you shop small, more of your money is reinvested into local schools, jobs, taxes, wages, and other community needs.
Jenna Aukerman may be new to Bozeman's community but she ran a small business of her own in South Dakota. She says small business owners tend to have a greater investment in the success of their business.
"You tend to care, not only about your products and quality and reputation but about your customers' experience, the longevity of it. I mean, you're seeing them face to face. If a product's not great, if the service isn't great, you're the one hearing about it," explains Aukerman.
Her mother Ranae showed us some of the items she picked up at GetNGreen. She says she thinks she found higher quality stuff by avoiding national chains.
"I think you find much more original products. You can find things that, probably, not everybody else is going to have," says Ranae.
Local retailers say Small Business Saturday helps to get their name out, bringing more attention to their business.
"We are small and sometimes it's hard to notice us on the street. It's really important that these programs really get our name out or just get people out so, then there's more people to catch the window display or something like that," explains GetNGreen cashier Elizabeth Wells.
Wells works to put out new merchandise. She says they've been busy all day.
"We haven't sat down for more than a couple seconds," says Wells.
Wells explains Small Business Saturday helps to get people out on Main Street and, in turn, "Everyone gets to see all the things we have during the Christmas and holiday season," Wells says.
She tells us they sell a lot of Montana-made products and items from local artists who also benefit from the shop small traffic.
It's why you won't catch folks like Seibert vying for the front of the line when stores open the day after Thanksgiving.
"I really wanted to support the small businesses today, especially after the heels of Black Friday," says Seibert.
Some of the perks of shopping small in Bozeman Saturday, if you shopped with Indulgence, Tart, Nova Cafe, Altitude Gallery, The Leaf & Bean and Country Bookshelf, you got a discount card for the other five.
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