Nebraska goes shopping for Small Business Saturday

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By Tim McNicholas

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Updated: Mon, 02 Dec 2013 09:53:34 CST

You might not see an overflowing parking lot or a line around the block outside the Prairie Book Store in Hastings....

But in some ways this is their Black Friday.

"We can get an awful lot of stuff at the big box stores, but the little stores are what keep towns moving."

Prairie had all hands on deck for Small Business Saturday.

In other words, Mom and Pop were the only ones working.

Small Business Saturday is a national event...

But it's just about a perfect match for a town like Hastings.

"Mom and pop businesses are the backbone of America," Prarie owner Bernie Tushaus said. "It's fun to have this promotion going. People understand that small businesses are something we need to support."

All up and down 2nd street, shops displayed their deals with pride.

Buyers received tote bags courtesy of one not so small business:

American Express.

They created the event back in 20–10, in the thick of the recession.

Now they're Small Business Saturday's lead publicist.

Businesses are promoting this event with the hashtag 'ShopSmall' and from Kathleen Sebelius to Toby Keith, people are posting it all over the web.

Shopper Sam McNair had heard of Small Business Saturday...

But it doesn't cross his mind until he wound up in downtown today.

He gets a kick out of seeing such bustle in Hastings.

"You want to keep businesses going downtown in the area," he said. "Help the people that are here and bring more people into this small town."

You won't see the owners of Prairie changing Black Friday to Black Thursday anytime soon.

They're not changing up their hours for the holidays either.

Thanksgiving landed about as late as it could this year...

So Prairie thinks the shorter shopping season might provide enough urgency by itself.

As for the midnight doorbusters? They'll leave that to the big dogs.

Things are bit more relaxed on 2nd street.