Local businesses of Uptown Columbus participate in Small Business Saturday

(Source: Jose Zozaya/WTVM)
(Source: Jose Zozaya/WTVM)
(Source: Jose Zozaya/WTVM)
(Source: Jose Zozaya/WTVM)

. - Columbus, GA (WTVM) - With the Black Friday rush over, local businesses greeted shoppers and showcased their products on Small Business Saturday. 

"It means a lot," said Chris McInvale as he helped run the table full of fresh produce from Hudson Farms in Manchester.  

"I like seeing people come to buy local produce, and that's what they want.... That's the main reason they come here," he said. 

For McInvale and other vendors,  it's about keeping it local, but it's a nationwide movement. 

Hundreds of shoppers in uptown Columbus lined the streets, finding hidden treasures and fresh food.

"Every time we bring brussels sprouts, it's the first thing that sells," McInvale said with pride. "We'll have people coming, wanting us to put the brussels sprouts to the side, so they can come back."

Started in 2010, Small Business Saturday grew mostly as a direct response to Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

It's message to shoppers: look for unique gifts in stores you won't find anywhere else, to keep those dollars in the local economy.

"It's really important to be able to grow stuff here, locally," McInvale said, "and offer it to our customers. This marketplace downtown's helped us out a lot."

For others, like small business owner Jenna Lundeen, what's even better is having that personal connection with loyal, discerning customers and fellow neighbors.

"To be able to interact with the public, to be able to see the light in somebody's eye, when it's like, 'Oh, wow! That's the perfect thing!'" she said.

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