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Thousands support small businesses at Riverside Arts Market

More than 120 vendors display wares on Small Business Saturday


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Small Business Saturday is a day devoted to support mom and pop shops, and there's no better place to find small businesses than at the Riverside Arts Market, where more than 120 vendors are selling their products.

"These are your neighbors and your friends and the people that live with you in your community. So it’s important to support them, especially, because most of that money that you’re spending will go right back into your community," said Riverside Arts Market manager Liz Grebe.

Small business owners said it's important to support locally owned stores because it boosts the Jacksonville economy.

"You don’t want mom and pop shops to disappear because they are the foundation of the city," said Riverside Arts Market shopper Lenys Biga.

You can find everything from artists to farmers and bakers among the vendors there.

"We have cyber everything and shopping everyplace, but it’s just wonderful to see people still making things that you could buy," Biga said.

In an effort to get more people to shop local, Downtown Vision created a passport with 14 participating businesses  to get shoppers to travel around downtown. 

"There are several businesses you can go to, six or more get a stamp, and then, turn them in to the participating locations or the downtown vision office, and you’re entered in a raffle," Grebe said.

You can win all kinds of prizes in the raffle.

The Riverside Arts Market accepts supplemental nutrition assistance program or SNAP, benefits to make healthy food more accessible.

"We can also double the money. So, if you spend $40, we can give you up to another $40, and that money will only be spent on fruits and vegetables that are locally grown in Florida," Grebe said.

Small businesses focus on their handcrafted goods and bridge the gap between the community and economy. 

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