Topeka customers shop local on Small Business Saturday

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - There are a lot of great local businesses in Topeka and on Saturday people were encouraged to shop small to support the community.

Small Business Saturday started off with a boom at Fairlawn Plaza as the Topeka West Charger Band Drum Line escorted Santa in.

Not only were the shoppers excited to see Santa, but they were ready to take advantage of the great deals.

Jill Ladd is a proud local shopper and said, "I wanted to finish up my Christmas shopping and wanted to make sure I did some of that locally."

"We're out shopping to get some ideas for our family and we like to shop local because it supports our community and we run into people that we know," said Heather Winkler.

Susan Dickerson owns "The Hub" in Fairlawn Plaza.

She said customer support is vital in maintaining a small business.

"Those of us who do own small stores truly appreciate it when people come in and support us on those days, because we definitely struggle to keep our stores open in today's economy," said Dickerson.

Ladd said when she shops local, she feels like she is making a difference.

"I think it's important that we support local businesses because your money stays in town, supports local families and it's fun because you can get unique gifts for people," she said.

Dickerson said, "We love helping people that come in and shop our store, because we feel like we give them something a little different than what the big stores give them. We give them unique options."

Winkler said the experience is also something you don't get at a big box store.

"The customer service is a big factor in shopping local. You have people there that can help you find things that you wouldn't even think to get," she said.

When you shop small, your dollars go back into the community.

"Home At Last" owner Dan Brungardt said, "A larger percentage of money spent at local businesses stays in our community and I think it's vital that they shop local, not only today but every day of the year."