PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - Small Business Saturday had many stores in Region 8 thanking their customers and calling them more than just shoppers.
Elisa Owen, owner of 22 Lou in Paragould, said she opened her business about 2 years ago.
Since then, she has seen many people walk through her doors to support her business.
Owen said she grew up in Paragould but moved away for a few years, but came back with the plan to open 22 Lou.
One thing she said a small business can offer customers that bigger businesses can not is a specific experience.
A more personal experience is what she wants to offer.
She described her store as laid back; a place where they would play with customers' children while parents shop uninterrupted.
Owen said events like Small Business Saturday help support more than the community.
"Just going out and putting your money back into your community, supporting people you know, supporting the families," Owen said. "You know, this is my livelihood, this is how I make my money and it's just a really comforting feeling to know that my community is coming out to support me and my family."
Ima's, a clothing shop in Paragould, also saw many customers as part of Small Business Saturday.
The store has been around for about 50 years and during that time, they have found that their customers are just like family.
Store manager Suzanne Johnston said she knows how much local shopping helps the community.
"We get out of town, people come home for Christmas, we get to see them," Johnston said. "It's kind of like this huge family and its they come and see us and spend Christmas with us and shop. You know we catch up on if anyone got married, or had babies. It's really nice."
Johnston said this mentality adds to the spirit of the community.
She explained the employees know most of the people who shop with them and if they don't, they make it their mission to learn a new customer's name.
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