Small Business Saturday: Shop local and help Kansas City businesses thrive

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - You've heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but don't forget about Small Business Saturday. It's a push to buy local and some Kansas City businesses say they could use your support.

These days, shopping areas like the Plaza or the Legends Outlets are geared toward national retail chains. Mom-and-pop retailers are trying to make their mark in this community, but some say it is tough.

Business has been steady lately for Rick Brehm at his clothing store Hudson and Jane. That's a relief, because for a while things didn't look good.

"There is so much to choose from, and then you also have online sales," Brehm explained. "If people don't want to have a social experience, then they don't have to go out."

His store is located in Brookside -- an area he said seems to support local business. He's hoping the crowds show up this weekend for Small Business Saturday.

"Hopefully it will be more remarkable this season than it was last season," Brehm said.

According to Forbes Magazine, more than 100 million consumers shopped in small, local stores nationwide last year. But Brehm said he didn't see much of an uptick.

Down the street at the locally-owned store Shopgirls, style consultant Amber Bender is optimistic people will show their support for the annual event.

"It is big for us, but I think it is also empowers the client, the customer to say 'You know what? I have actually contributed to keeping a small business in our town,' and I think that is what they love about it," she said.

Economists say for every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, $68 stays in the local economy. Only $43 stays local if spent at a national chain.

This week, Kansas City leaders announced the launch of KC Buy Local Initiative, an effort to encourage residents to support local businesses this holiday season.

 According to the press release, the initiative is one of the 67 items that the Kansas City Council Special Committee on Small Business identified as important based on input from local small businesses.

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