The next few weeks have make-or-break implications for many locally owned Missouri businesses.

Downtown Jefferson City

Downtown Jefferson City

The shopping period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is a crucial time when those retailers will find out if they’ll make a profit for the year.

The National Federation of Independent Business is a sponsor of this weekend’s Small Business Saturday campaign.

NFIB Missouri’s Brad Jones says local retailers are an important part of all communities across the state.  “Whether you’re talking Lebanon, Missouri or you’re talking about Kirksville, you’re also talking about Columbia, St. Louis and Springfield” said Jones.  “There’s really no particular size or a type of a community that can’t support Small Business Saturday.”

NFIB claims 95 million shoppers spent $16 billion at small businesses during last year’s campaign, an increase of 14 percent over 2014.  Jones says much of the focus is on town squares in cities and towns within Missouri.  “Around those squares are small businesses.  Those are small independent businesses.  Often they are generational businesses that have been passed on from one generation to the next.  It just such a great opportunity to get out and support them, because they certainly do support our communities.”

Jones says those who are aware of Small Business Saturday make a special effort to shop at local retailers and restaurants.  He points out communities like Lebanon and Kirksville wouldn’t have many places to shop if it weren’t for local businesses.

He also thinks city centers such as the one in Missouri’s Capital City are great examples of dense concentrations of locally owned retail shops and businesses.  “If you look at an area like downtown Jefferson City, which I consider to be the absolute epitome of what Main Street America looks like, these are the areas in your communities, I think, that are going to have the greatest impact as far as small businesses are concerned.”

Jones says small businesses have a vested interest in their local communities, which is shown through their support of little league teams and 5K runs.  “In every nook-and-cranny in the state of Missouri, this is an opportunity for you to get out and shop with your local small businesses and thank them for the great things that do for the community, said Jones.”