November 29, 2013 9:52:11 AM
While the big box stores have Black Friday sales, local store owners are encouraging shoppers to take part in Small Business Saturday tomorrow.
Launched by American Express, the campaign encourages people to "shop small and local." Main Street Director Barbara Bigelow said by shopping at small, local businesses shoppers are helping the local economy.
"It is so important to support your local business owners," Bigelow said. "Our downtown merchants offer a huge variety of items and you're sure to be able to fill all of your shopping needs. Support your friends downtown and shop local."
She added, "When you shop downtown, not only do you help a friend in business, you keep tax dollars local which of course helps our local economy."
Fashion Barn owner Homer Beaty said when you shop at a locally owned business, you are shopping with people who know you by name.
"You're dealing with someone that knows you," Beaty said. "When you walk in, we can put a name with a face and we know who you are."
Beaty added that shopping locally is vital to the local economy.
"When people shop locally, the money stays here," she said. "It helps with the taxes for our city and we give back to the community."
Helen Pridmore owns Lighting Unlimited on Gardner Boulevard and said her shop offers "everything and more."
"We've got things you would never find in the big box stores," Pridmore. "That's the thing. People will come in and say 'I didn't realize you had all this.'
Pridmore said by being a locally owned business, her employees didn't have to work on Thanksgiving.
"Not only do we encourage people to come out on Saturday, we encourage people to shop locally and with people who are nice enough not to make their employees work on Thanksgiving," Pridmore said. "We still believe that Thanksgiving should be a family day and shopping can come later."
She added, "I would absolutely stay in Columbus. You can find everything you want here."
Sarah Fowler covered crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch.
1. Ex-office manager arrested for embezzlement COLUMBUS & LOWNDES COUNTY