Local Businesses Bring the Wow Factor on Small Business Saturday

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City's local businesses rolled out the red carpet for Small Business Saturday, the "holiday" created by American Express. But regular customers at theses shops always get the royal treatment by shopping small.

At a family-owned toy shop in Brookside, a bell jingles when you open the door. The owners know many of their regular customers by name. And Small Business Saturday is just another opportunity to begin lasting relationships built on the love of toys.

Brookside Toy and Science sells gifts you might not find at the big department stores. And when you come in, you get to look and play. And although business doubles on this special day, the pace is still nice and friendly.

"We are happy to open things up and show you what they are like inside and give you personal assistance," said Jim Ward of Brookside Toy and Science. "If you tell us you have a three-year-old and you are a grandparent and don't know what to get, we can pick you a homerun."

Down the street at a store aptly named Stuff, two Kansas City sisters welcome customers as friends and they will even help you with your shopping.

"All year long we offer free gift wrap and when you come back in, we know who you are," Sloan Simmons said. At Stuff, the business isn't just local. They call it local local.

"Whenever you make a purchase at Stuff you are not just supporting a local small biz, you are supporting local small biz artists," said Casey Simmons. "It is just deeper in the fiber of the community."

The gift wrapping is always free. And there's a story behind every piece of artwork.

"We usually go to the big stores, but we thought it would be neat to come in here," said Tommy Haynes, customer.

But small businesses owners didn't just put out the welcome mat. From service to the friendly store dog, shopping small just feels different.

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