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Boise businesses welcome holiday shoppers on Small Business Saturday

The day celebrates supporting local small businesses while kicking off the holiday shopping season.

BOISE, Idaho — Editor's note: The video above this article was published Friday, Nov. 25.

It's one of the busiest weekends of the year for shoppers - and businesses. While there were many blockbuster deals being offered for Black Friday, local small businesses have another date circled on their calendar.

The weekend full of holiday shopping and deals continues with Small Business Saturday - one of the busiest, and most important days for local businesses. It offers a chance for shoppers to celebrate and support stores that make their community unique, while also being able to take advantage of special discounts and deals.

“It's hard to articulate just how important I think shopping locally is," BANANA Ink owner Lana Roth said. "You make a big impact on someone that is your neighbor or a friend, and I think that's super important to think about this time of year.”

This weekend marked the start of the holiday shopping season, a time where local businesses like BANANA Ink look for increased sales. 

BANANA Ink is a uniquely-Idaho clothing store that incorporates the state shape in all of their designs. Their stock also includes items made and designed by local artists.  

"I think our community in particular loves supporting local," Roth said. "I mean, they come in here and they just get excited about knowing the story of where it comes from and who made it, and the story behind it is important to them. I think that's something that resonates with us, too.”

Fluff Hardware also showcases local artists. The store has a studio that designs and creates handmade jewelry. Walking through the store itself is an experience, with displays made out of vintage suitcases and shelves stocked with candles, hats, scarves, patches, and art.

For Small Business Saturday, Fluff Hardware is hosting local artists, so shoppers can meet and directly support them with each sale.

“That’s what [Saturday is] all about. If people are buying handmade, it's supporting the community, but it's also really cool to give a handmade gift for Christmas or any holiday," Fluff Hardware manager Rachael Vassion said. "We also do stamping parties where you can make your own jewelry. So it's not only handmade by us, but it can be handmade by you, for yourself or for someone else."

While some of the best specials are happening Saturday, shops like Mixed Greens were already attracting big crowds for their specialized gifts on Friday. 

"It's amazing how local people, the community comes out and really celebrates downtown and it is one of our biggest days," Mixed Greens manager Hillary Long said. “It's a big deal. It's important to give back and also to have the community support us, it's been amazing."

Local business can be more than just a place to shop, they can also be unique places to gather. Like Rediscovered Books, which hosts events for the community throughout the year. 

"It's such a great energy here, and it's just so much fun," Rediscovered Books manager Rebeca Crosswhite said. "People come to us because they know that we love books and we can talk about books with them, and we can recommend the next best, because we read a lot. So, yeah, that's what we are - we're a community gathering space."

Another local store that you can rely on for recommendations - music recommendations - is The Record Exchange. The store has been a staple of Boise since 1977, and serves as a reminder that a dollar spent at a small business is a dollar going back to support the community.

“Shopping local is important if you as a member of the community value local businesses, especially small, independent businesses. We employ people who live here, we keep our taxes here. If you keep your money in our zip code, then you're doing our ecosystem a big favor," co-owner of The Record Exchange Chad Dyden said. "So, stores like The Record Exchange and Rediscovered Books, we really rely on the support of our community, because especially when you get to recessions or inflation, what typically ends up happening is small businesses are the ones who bear the brunt of people not spending as much money and cutting back and whatnot and looking for deals online. So, we're always very fortunate when people come in our door every day."

A list of all the local businesses in downtown Boise that are participating in Small Business Saturday can be found here on the Downtown Boise website.

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