Small businesses across Central Texas are preparing for Small Business Saturday this weekend.
American Express launched Small Business Saturday which started in 2010 in hopes of bringing more holiday shopping to small businesses.
"It was a focus campaign to shop small. So to bring attention to the mom and pop stores and retailers and restauranteurs in our city," Andrea Barefield, Main Street Manager, said.
Both shops will be open Saturday in hopes of encouraging more people to shop locally.
Marilyn Banks has owned Marilyn's Gift Gallery in Waco for 27 years. She said it was a lifelong dream of hers to own her own business.
"I just wanted to bring something good and positive to a community that was lacking," Banks said. "Now that we're here, we've been able to lease out six other spaces to entrepreneurs."
Twenty seven years later, she is still serving the community. Her goal is to make customers feel welcome.
"A lot of times [for holiday shopping] it's just the big box places and the small business get overlooked. But you know we provide a lot to our community to our economy," Banks said.
Chelsea Parker, owner of Mainstream Boutique in Waco, agrees. Parker opened the shop about two years ago. She said it's a way for her to empower women in the community.
Parker said Small Business Saturday is not only important to her business, but to Waco as a whole.
"Seeing the growth in Waco is great but getting to know all of the different people that have been apart of that has been awesome. So knowing the people behind it and going to those places is helping them and helping Waco's growth is what I love about it . And I benefit from it as a business," Parker said.
Parker and Banks are hoping the community steps up and helps fuel the local economy by supporting the small businesses.
"These small businesses are the heartbeat of our city so we want you to patronize them everyday but especially we're going to kick it off with shop small Saturday," Barefield said.
Marilyn's Gift Gallery is open Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jewelry will be discounted for Small Business Saturday.
Mainstream Boutique is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store is offering 15-percent off a total purchase and every purchase over $75 will receive a Mainstream Boutique tote bag on Saturday.
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