With countless Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, it could be easy to skip over mom-and-pop stores, but many Missoula shoppers opted to shop local on "Small Business Saturday."

Missoula is one of numerous cities and towns across the nation that participates in the yearly shopping event, now in it's 10th year.

"A lot of the stores or businesses downtown are locally owned, so by coming down and supporting those businesses you're supporting Missoulians and your neighbors," said Lincoln Mansch, the marketing and events director for Downtown Missoula Partnership.

Almost 40 businesses organized for the event through the Downtown Missoula Partnership, Mansch said, although others still participated and offered sales.  

Some Missoulians shopped with a list while others accompanied friends and family to meander through stores.

"It's more of just going down to the local stores," said Katy Christoferson.

Christoferson started the day off by trying out Veera Donuts, Missoula's newest vegan doughnut shop, with some friends, before crossing the bridge to North Higgins to browse more shops.

"I've been walking around and being like, 'Oh that reminds me of that person,'" she said. "I don't have a list."

Others came to visit family and stayed for shopping like Jeanne Forrester, who was in town from Billings visiting her daughter, Barbara Frank.

"We're getting unique gifts for people and we're looking for mostly Montana made stuff," Forrester said.

Forrester said she was surprised by how many people in Missoula came out for the event.

"Stores have been super crowded and it's just fantastic," she said.

Among her purchases, Forrester said she bought a book by a Missoula author.

Coincidentally, Bryn Agnew of Fact & Fiction, said the regional literature and books by local authors they sell at the shop are one of the main things that sets them apart from larger chains.

"We do a good job here trying to cater to the community taste where larger chain stores don't," Angew said. "Supporting the smaller book stores helps keep a more literate community."

Many stores offered discounts on Saturday, while others found more creative ways to draw in the crowds.

At Noteworthy Paper & Press, which sells a variety of hand-printed goods made in the store and by artisans around the country, patrons could make their own print using one of the store's manual letterpress machines.

"I think it creates a feeling that there's abundance here like businesses can come together and everyone is succeeding and it keeps money in our community," said Dani Turner of Noteworthy.

The store also offered discounts to people who brought donations for the Poverello Center, one of many community partners the store has been working with.

Linda Zekos has been helping the store build its "Seconds Program" which donates hand-pressed "flawed but beautiful" cards to places like the Poverello Center, Watson's Children Shelter and the Senior Center.

She said the cards have minor flaws, like a fold that's slightly off center, but still serve as great sympathy or thank you cards, among other occasions.

Although many shoppers visited retail stores, other restaurants, venues and bars participated and some offered discounts as well.

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