Shoppers urged to buy from local businesses

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - While you're thinking about which stores you'll line up to shop at during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year, local retailers want you to think outside the box. The big box stores, that is.

"We live here. We know what our customers want. We have unique items that you can't get at the big stores. We customize," said Ashley Seymer, owner of Sadie Janes in Gulfport.

Seymer said those are just a few of the perks of shopping at locally owned and operated businesses.

"These are the people that are from this community, that make up this community. So they are also great advocates of what's going on here along the coast," said Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce Communication Specialist Kelsey Blum.

Ferrell Alman said his clothing store--S.F. Alman gives him the home field advantage when it comes to sales because he can really get to know his customers and offer them exactly what they are seeking.

"We're always trying to stay in tune with what people are wanting and what they are asking for. We kinda keep our thumb on the pulse of what's happening on the college campuses around the Southeast to kinda see what the kids are wanting," Alman said.

Some of the many items you'll find at local retailers like Sadie Jane's include an Old Biloxi recipe book and oyster trees made by local artists.

For shopper Amy Johnson, buying local is more than just finding a one of kind item.

"It's the personalized shopping experience. Not so much that you don't get customer service, but you don't get as good of an experience or as personal of a shopping experience," Johnson explained.

The Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce said Facebook is a great way to get an idea of what kind of items and deals both local and national businesses are offering for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

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