KANSAS CITY,Mo. — Union Station was packed as thousands of people shopped at more than 150 small, local businesses on Small Business Saturday put on by the Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair.
Every vendor is a small business, with 80 percent from the Kansas City area.
Small Business Saturday started 10 years ago with the goal of increasing sales for local businesses, and it's working.
"Small business Saturday ends our November with like the biggest Christmas sales we can get, that means paid vacation for our employees, that means we are able to give them Christmas bonuses, being able to take a break myself as the owner," said Brandon Love, owner and founder of Crumble Co.
This constant flow of customers inside Union Station is a small business owner's dream.
"It's so awesome to see Kansas City turn out and support us," said Mindy Nanos, owner of Milkweed Baby.
Nanos created the company and sells tiny shoes and other items. She said the money she makes from her sales stays local in supporting her business.
"I make them at my house in Prairie Village," Nanos said. "I'm using fabric that was printed in North Kansas City, that was designed by a design house in Mission, Kansas."
It's a critical time of the year as the next few weeks can determine a business' future, and these shoppers want to fuel their bottom line.
"We just like supporting small businesses," shopper Katie Bubalo said, "and today is the perfect day to do that."
The event is expected to draw 20,000 people to Union Station. It runs until 7 p.m. tonight and will be open again between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday.