Shop owners encourage Wichitans to shop local ahead of Small Business Saturday

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Independent business owners are preparing for Small Business Saturday, encouraging Wichita shoppers to consider buying from local shops. 

"Small businesses are the bedrock of the community, they show the health of it, they show the variety of it," said Sarah Bagby, owner of Watermark Books & Cafe. 

The independent bookstore has been around for the past 23 years. "We see third generations of families come in, and that is so warming," said Bagby. 

Families and friends have come through the doors for decades to have a conversation over a cup of coffee or stumble upon on a new author. 

Book lover Noelle Frantz stopped in Friday. "My family's all in from out of town, so showing them the things that make Wichita special," she said.

"I feel more connected, for books specifically, feeling more connected to the story of, every time I drive by thinking of that particular book instead of just knowing I bought it on Amazon."

Bagby explains that beyond adding charm to a city, independently-owned shops put money back into the city's economy. 

"Any dollar you spend in a business in your community generates more, it recirculates more in your community, so it's just better for your economy, it's good for property taxes."

The store made some changes over the years to keep up with larger retailers. 

"We have to offer an experience, we do a lot of author events, we bring in best selling offers, we bring in poets," said Bagby, "You don't think of those things when you're just looking at the price, but you have to look at what you value in that community."
 

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