Local businesses take the spotlight on Small Business Saturday

Local businesses take the spotlight on Small Business Saturday

SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Downtown Bay St. Louis got an economic booster shot with Small Business Saturday.

Stores were crowded and the streets were full of shoppers looking for both good deals and a hometown flavor.

Lisa Martin says she's over big box stores.

"I really have stopped a lot of mall shopping because I love buying local, and I love the whole idea of just shopping small," she said.

And for the New Orleans resident, shopping the retail district in downtown Bay St. Louis isn't about business transactions. It's personal.

"I love the people that are local," Martin said. "It's just like you're at home shopping. Sometimes I feel like I'm in grandma's attic. I just, I love it. I love everything about it."

And, it helps to have good sales.

Melissa Hamilton, owner of Bijoubell and Joan Vass Off Broadway, is seeing some big-time business with her deep discounts.

"We look forward to it every year," Hamilton said. "And we plan for it as well, figuring out what discounts we're going to give and on what. People love to buy local and they tell us that every year."

Things are going well for Jenny Shubert, owner of Southern Accents.

"It's one of the busiest times of the year," she said. "It helps us start off the holiday season."

Nashville resident and Bay St. Louis native Jim Whitfield brought his whole family out to shop. In this case, it was all about the shoes.

"It's more personable," he said. "You know, and you can find good deals. You find just as good quality stuff, and it's fun to meet the proprietors. You know you're helping them out directly. So, we like the small shopping."

This is the first Small Business Saturday for David Dickensauge and his C&C Italian Bistro. He's expecting good things.

"We put a lot of emphasis on trying to buy local, try to sell local, try to take care of local people," he said. "And, we're definitely seeing an increase in business. Got a lot of reservations for the night."

Small Business Saturday was started by American Express in 2010.

An estimated 112 million consumers reported shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2016, the most since it began.

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