Missoula Takes Part in "Small Business Saturday" - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Missoula Takes Part in "Small Business Saturday"

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MISSOULA -

Saturday, November 30 marks the third annual "Small Business Saturday" across the country-- an event encouraging people to shop at small businesses in their communities.

In Missoula, hundreds of businesses participate to help boost the local economy.

Debby Barberio, manager at Butterfly Herbs, said she's seen the small tea and coffee shop go through its ups and downs.

"I've worked here since 1976, on and off," she said.

Barberio said Butterfly Herbs saw a huge boost in sales during the 2012 Small Business Saturday, which generated $5.5 billion in consumer spending across the country.

"The community of Missoula just embraced us, and it was an amazing turnout, we just had a wonderful day, and we're looking forward to it this year, too," Barberio said.

Barberio said ultimately, their success depends on loyal customer spending during the holiday shopping season.

"Granted, they go to, you know, the other stores too, but they really key into local businesses, so it's good for us!"

Just a few doors down, at Bella Donna clothing boutique, owner Noreen Shamanski said she's seen Small Business Saturday gain momentum over the past two years, and shoppers have responded.

She said, "They love to support it -- they understand how if we do good, it makes the community do really good."

But, like many small businesses, Shamanski said it can be tough to keep up with the big-name stores, and she says they saw a slump in sales during the recession.

"You know, definitely this time of year it's local customers, repeat customers that have always shopped from us," Shamanski said.

Shamanski said this year, she contacted American Express -- the creator of the event -- and received free marketing materials.

"We have a mat that we get to put out, we have free shopping bags to get out, so they've really worked with us small business owners to make it a big deal," she added.

Some businesses in Missoula are offering discounts during Saturday's event. Clothing shop, Upcycled is offering 5% off total purchases with proof of purchase from another small business that day.

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