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Small Businesses Compete For Shoppers

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With Black Friday and web–based Cyber Monday, this is traditionally one of busiest shopping weekends of the year, and while most people tend to focus on the deals in the big retail stores, many smaller, local retailers also had special deals to attract customers.

During the busy holiday shopping season, small local businesses want to get their share of shoppers. For Pieces clothing in Mankato, store owner Liz Meyers says that means being creative.

Meyers says, "Just have to be one step up from everybody else, keep thinking outside the box."

Like offering girls' nights out where there are drinks and hour d'oeuvres for you and your friends.

Meyers says, "Then they can spend however long they want with their friends, just shopping, kind of a fun event."

It's easy for small businesses to get lost in the shuffle of glossy ads and television commercials from big retailers, so stores like Pieces work to build longtime relationships with their customers.

Meyers says, "A lot of them, I will even call and just say 'I think I have something in and I will have maybe four or five things pulled, so it 20 minutes we can have them in and out the door.'"

While you won't see Pieces open in the middle of the night, it is having extended hours through Christmas and taking advantage of its new location by the mall.

Meyers says, "I just think just because of the people from out of town coming to the mall I need to catch that traffic..And just give the working women in Mankato one more day that they can shop."

Meyers says there is a growing trend of shoppers that are making a point to "buy local," it's something she noticed especially during yesterday's Small Business Saturday.

Meyers says, "I actually had a fair amount of women say we decided to stay local, so here we are, and I did offer a little discount, it was great, it was fabulous."

And Meyers thinks shopping local is good for the community.

Meyers says, "I think it is important to support our community, I think that is what makes a great community. I'm in business so if I expect people to come into my business, I need to support them also."

Helping both small businesses and the community thrive.