Shopping local downtown Niles

NILES, Mich. - Small business Saturday caught on in Niles Saturday.

A national campaign Saturday encouraged shoppers nationwide to go to local merchants to buy Christmas gifts.

"It's small business Saturday so I came to a couple of my favorite businesses down here to purchase some Christmas gifts," Beth Leap said while holding her 1-year-old son Gibson in her arms, "I love coming down here because you get friendly and quick service.

Niles had a steady flow of shoppers Saturday afternoon.

"We use to own a business in South Haven and found it's very important for the local people to support the businesses downtown, "Ron Bishop, of Niles said. "I think one of the problems is people feel they can't afford to shop downtown.

Business owners admitted that they couldn't compete with Black Friday sales of box stores and outlet malls but hope they offer unique items that you may not be able to find there.

The business owners we spoke with said they were happy with the turnout Saturday and hope that momentum continues over the next several weeks.

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