(KFVS) - Plenty of shoppers decided to take a step back from those big name department stores and spend their money locally for Small Business Saturday.
Tamara Graves owns Repeat Boutique in Anna, Illinois. She says Small Business Saturday is extremely important in small towns.
"Today we had lots of business in, lots of new faces," Graves said. "We're kind of losing the downtown, the neighborhood feel so I think it's important to do this, just to bring people back down to downtown area and local small businesses all around town."
Small Business Saturday started only about six years ago and became an official day in 2011 by the U.S. Senate.
Last year, sales on the newer shopping holiday topped more than sixteen billion dollars.
In small towns like Anna and Jonesboro, shoppers said it brings out the best of the community and breathes new life in their downtown district.
"I've been out for about two hours now," shopper Stacy Kelley said. "I called my mom and had her come up and join me because you seeing a lot of people you haven't seen in a while and it' just that community."
In Missouri, shoppers also visited locally-owned stores like Imagine That in Westpark Mall in Cape Girardeau.
Owner Mary-Ann Allen said she appreciates people not forgetting the small companies during the holiday season.
"It's nice that the local people support locally owned business because the money stays here," Allen said.
Allen said though there is a day designed to recognizing businesses like hers, shoppers in the Heartland understand the importance of locally own businesses in their communities.
"They give us love throughout the year," she said. "They really do. There's so many good people in this town and the surrounding towns that really takes care of us."