Local stores in downtown Scottsbluff, Gering have plenty to offer shoppers this holiday season

Barrista Kaitlin Herrera prepares another coffee at Cappuccino and Company in downtown Scottsbluff. The store's success is one of many examples of how local people shopping locally make for a strong economy. Small Business Saturday this weekend is set aside nationally to encourage people to think local first.

With the official date for Thanksgiving coming late this year, the Christmas shopping season is shorter by about six days from 2018. It also emphasizes the importance of shopping locally and helping support your local economy.

Now observing its 10th year, Saturday, Nov. 30, is Small Business Saturday, a day set aside to support small businesses across the country. The event encourages consumers to get out and shop at their local neighborhood stores.

Angela Kembel, owner of Cappuccino and Company in downtown Scottsbluff, has been observing Small Business Saturday for several years.

“We have a Facebook event we’re sharing for this Saturday,” she said. ‘We also have some gift bags to give away, so we’re doing a drawing for those. They include some treats, gift certificates and other fun things from Cappuccino and Company.”

While making it a fun day, Kembel wants to remind people to save some of their shopping for their local businesses.

“Remember to check with them first instead of last,” she said. “We want people to remember we have a lot of businesses downtown that could service their needs for both gifts and everyday items. We just need to be given a chance.”

By supporting your hometown businesses, you’re supporting what makes your town unique and special. For small business owners, their shops are more than just a business. They’re an extension of themselves, a dream that became a reality. So that means shoppers will probably find those one-of-a-kind items that often get overlooked by the big retailers, she said.

By giving your local retailers a chance, you’re helping them survive. You’re also giving them the opportunity to win you over as a regular customer.

“When you spend money with local businesses, that money goes back into the community in a very tangible way,” Kembel said. “I’m proud to employ seven people at Cappuccino and Company. I wouldn’t be able to do that without the support of the community. Every day we’re open is proof of the importance of supporting small businesses.”

Nancy Dillman with T.C and More in downtown Scottsbluff will be observing her fifth Christmas in the store. To celebrate Small Business Saturday, she will be open the entire weekend with special pricing on everything in the store.

Nancy said that by supporting local businesses, residents are supporting the city itself with better roads, parks, emergency services and more.

Because small business owners are in tune with their local community, they often reach out to serve in special, unique ways.

This Christmas season, Dillman will be roll out her fifth annual toy drive for children.

“My daughter was teaching at Longfellow and asked if I would be willing to donate some toys for kids who didn’t have anything,” she said. “Today, I’m donating toys to five or six schools throughout the community and reached about 150 kids last year. If people didn’t shop local, I wouldn’t be able to do that.”

Another downtown business resulted from people following their passion. Mother and daughter Susan Harvey and Shelby Hadenfeldt turned their interest in fashion into Lynne Morgan Boutique. For the past 1½ years, they’ve been bringing one-of-a-kind women’s fashion to the area.

“For Small Business Saturday, we’re having 10% off on all purchases,” Hadenfelt said. “We’ve been getting a lot more traffic coming in and we see a lot of familiar faces as well as new people.”

Hadenfelt said they want Lynne Morgan to be the local “go-to” place for contemporary women’s fashion.

“Keeping your shopping dollars in the community is so important for everyone,” she said. “Those dollars help the community grow and thrive. The more we grow, the more new businesses pop up and that’s good for everyone.”

With Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30, people are invited to step out of their comfort zone and stop by the local bakery, restaurant, coffee shop or boutique. The entire community will benefit. It will also be an encouragement to those who followed their dreams into a business of their own.

We're always interested in hearing about news in our community. Let us know what's going on!

Jerry Purvis is a reporter with the Star-Herald. He can be reached at 308-632-9046 or emailed at jpurvis@starherald.com.

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