(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Shoppers skipped the big box stores in favor of local businesses as part of Small Business Saturday.
In downtown St. Joseph, retailers said the community is welcoming and supportive. New retailers have taken notice of the atmosphere the downtown community brings.
"We were so drawn to this community because it's growing," Stephanie Campbell, owner Blue Willow Boutique said.
The boutique which opened its doors in October sits on the corner of Felix and 8th streets. Campbell called downtown St. Joseph the perfect place to expand from Maryville.
"There are amazing retailers down here that are really committed to the rebirth and the revitalization of downtown," Campbell said.
Those who spent the day patronizing local business also said they've seen promising growth in the downtown area over the past few years
"Everyone with the city has done a great job," Elizabeth Johnson, a shopper said. "This area is really booming again,"
Downtown business owners say the draw for people to support their local business is the return on investment, they say it’s much easier to see.
"It really all does just stay in your community," Campbell said. "It does definitely matter."
The success of the downtown area is leading to more business development, Diane Cudworth owns Downtown Frames, a new studio. Cudworth said she's been downtown for a year now and says the opportunity to open it is a dream fulfilled.
"This is giving me the opportunity to help the community with something that isn’t available everywhere," Cudworth said.
Aside from the money, people who work here also say the sense of community helps
"Downtown the business community is really a close-knit group," Patrick Modlin, owner Felix Street Gourmet said,
The first Small Business Saturday was held in 2010, since then the movement has raised more than $100 billion in revenue for small businesses nationwide.