Forget the big box stores and shop local

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The first Saturday following Thanksgiving has become known as Small Business Saturday.

It encourages people to buy from local shops.

With the sun shining down on Old Colorado City, benches along the street were empty, because most people were in stores like Olive Tree Traders.

The owner’s assistant said this day is huge.

“All of the big corporations, Walmart and everything, they get plenty of business and then sometimes forget about the little guys, so I think it’s really important that people shop local and help build our economy,” said Tawni Molina.

The Ellis family was doing just that.

“It’s a lot more satisfying to help out a local owner than to help out a big commercial company,” said Johnathan Ellis.

As a small business, Olive Tree Traders has to think about everybody who might come into the shop, pick something out, and buy it, because they can’t afford to cater to people only from Colorado Springs.

“A really good local base and then we have a semi-local base; people that are coming from Denver and Castle Rock that shop with us on a regular basis, but of course we cater to our tourists as well,” said Molina.

They do that by standing out.

“The fact that it is unique, especially when you’re in the holiday season and you’re looking for that perfect, very unique gift,” said Molina.

This type of event has to continue for it to make a major difference.

“Continue to shop local. Not just on shop local Saturday, but throughout the year, throughout the season, because it does make a huge difference in our local area,” said Molina.

People shopping Saturday said they prefer shopping local because there are fewer crowds and they get that personal interaction with the owner, which means they’re not just finding unique items; they’re also getting a unique experience every time.

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