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BY BRITTANY COLLINS WAAY-31

Today many Tennessee Valley Shoppers spent their money at local businesses.

It’s all to support Shop Small Saturday.

According to American Express, last year $112 Million people shopped at local businesses nationwide for Shop Small Saturday.

Shopping is easier for Katie Toone when she’s in Downtown Athens.

“I know a lot of people who are working these stores just for living in this area for the past 30 something years,” said Katie Toone.

Other shoppers like Michelle Jones said she’d rather support local stores than chain stores.

“These are people that live in our community and do good for out community. If we can help support the community, all the better,” said Michelle Jones.

Outside of the local stores, High Cotton Arts Gallery is also participating.

“I’ve given away some percentage off, free classes. I know Tina is giving away some free classes as well,” said artist and manager of High Cotton Arts Gallery Sonya Gordon.

Manty of the artist who painted the pieces live in Limestone County.

Sonya Gordon said the art people purchase is original and they’re keeping the money in the city.

“We have to sell enough to support ourselves. It helps us be able to stay here and thrive as an artist,” Gordon said.

American Express also reported in 2016, small business owners nationwide made $15.4 Billion total.

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