Many small business owners in the Tri-States took part in the tenth annual Small Business Saturday, a national effort to drive business at small and local businesses for the holiday season.
In Hannibal, those looking to support their community did so with more than a little seasonal flair.
“We’re looking for unique Christmas gifts, we went to the Mississippi Marketplace and bought some home made jams and cute little things at the Mark Twain Museum, just unique gifts that you can’t find in the big stores,” said shopper Jill Perry.
Perry said she came out to support local businesses and see Hannibal’s Victorian Christmas event with decorated store fronts, horse-drawn carriages and more.
Business owners like Lisa Marks, owner of Main Street Vintage Market, said SBS is a big deal for people like her.
“[SBS] is right up there with any of the large festivals we have here on main street, we usually try to have a major event once a month, things like Twain on Main or the Great Girlfriend Getaway and I think [SBS] brings about the same amount of people every year,” said Marks.
Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director McKenzie Disselhorst said she hopes both events work together to bring more customers to small businesses in downtown Hannibal
“It gets people in to some businesses that they maybe aren’t as familiar with, maybe do some of their Christmas shopping in the process,” said Disselhorst.
She said coupon books tied to the event help drive visitors to businesses they haven’t visited before.
“It’s important not only for the vitality of the business but also for the economics of our community, it adds sales tax dollars it’s just a big deal to shop small,” said Disselhorst.
“Well I try to get the word out all the time to tell people to come downtown, we’ve got some really great things down here,” said Perry, explaining how she always brings friends when she heads downtown.
National SBS organizers said 67 cents of every dollar spent locally ends up staying in the community it was spent in.