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      Putting out the "blue carpet "for Small Business Saturday

      Small businesses welcome you on Small Business Saturday.

      On Saturday the spotlight turns to local businesses as Small Business Saturday kicks off across the country including here in the Tri-States.

      Domestics, Etc. is just one of the many businesses that are putting out the "blue carpet" for customers on Saturday.

      Joy Berhorst is the owner of Domestics, Etc.

      She says that Small Business Saturday is a great way to bring in old and new customers to her store.

      "This is the time that you want to honor those loyal customers and that you really want to bring awareness to your business," Berhorst said. "So that the new people that are out there that don't know what you have to offer just have the awareness of everything going on in the area."

      Travis Brown is the executive director of Historic Quincy Business District .

      Brown says that many people are not aware of how much small businesses contribute to the local economy.

      "When people shop at a small business about 15 to 20 cents more per dollar stays in our community," Travis Brown said. "A local retail shop or a local restaurant for instance is going to have a local accountant. They're going to have a local lawyer. They're not going to farm those out to other communities. Whereas if you shop at a national chain restaurant, they're legal council is going to be based wherever that corporation is based."

      After 18 years in business, Joy Berhorst says that events like Small Business Saturday raise awareness of what local retailers have to offer.

      "I think it's very important for our community to let people know how many small businesses are out there, that their money's staying local and helping families local," Berhorst said.

      A sentiment that is shared by Travis Brown.

      "It gets people in the frame of mind that I'm just going to come to downtown Quincy or downtown Pittsfield or downtown Keokuk or wherever it is and they're gonna tour their own downtown and almost be a tourist in their hometown," Brown said. "And they wander into stores that they might not ever have step foot in expect for Small Business Saturday and discover a great little shop or a wonderful little eatery or someplace that just seems to strike a chord with them and they become a year round shopper."

      Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 by American Express as a way turn the spotlight on local brick and mortar businesses across the country.