Ames Tour Encourages Awareness of Small Business Saturday

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AMES, Iowa -- As we head into Thanksgiving, Ames Main Street is working to make people aware of the upcoming Small Business Saturday.

The event was created by American Express in 2010 to give voice to smaller shops on the heels of Black Friday.

Ames Main Street Executive Director Cindy Hicks hosted a tour of downtown shops along with Jayne Armstrong of the U.S. Small Business Administration in Des Moines. The two stopped in a number of Ames Main Street stores to talk about the joys, and challenges of running a small business.

“They like to come in here to see what is new and whats different that makes me excited knowing that they are coming back,” said Erin Wendt, who operates Dashing Boutique. She added that her job can be challenging at times, as she’s “a one-woman store.”

"The Mom and Pop businesses are really and truly the heart of the economy,” said Armstrong. “A lot of people are supporting small businesses especially over the holidays, and it really stays within the community rather than the money going out-of-state.”

Armstrong had a chance to chat in a fabric store, a jewelry store, in addition to The Dashing Boutique.

“One thing about shopping at a locally-owned business you always get better service, you are doing business with your friends and neighbors,” said Hicks. “When you shop locally more money stays in your community."