GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. WOOD — It was all about local stores this weekend as shoppers cashed in on special deals and products for Small Business Saturday.

“I’m definitely going to go back to a couple of them,” shopper Stephanie Elenbaas said.

About ten businesses on Grand Rapids’ West Side and Monroe Center participated in a sip and shop hop. It’s the first time the group participated in an event for the shopping holiday.

“The more we say Small Business Saturday and the more people celebrate this, they are going to know we are here,” said Tia Riva, organizer of Christmas on Westside Sip and Shop and owner of The Art of Life Gallery and Studio.

Shoppers like Elenbaas and Kelly Brown went to all 10 businesses.

Kelly Brown and Stephanie Elenbaas handing in their shop hop cards to event organizer Tia Riva.

They will now be entered into a drawing to win a prize. For them, the day meant more than just checking shops off the list.

“We got to experience different parts of the city that we didn’t get to in other times,” Elenbass said.

“Or know about shops like the olive place — they had balsamics and salts and stuff like that. That was really cool to see,” Brown added.

On the city’s southeast side, the Baxter Community Center was the hub for 15 Black-owned businesses.

“We’ve had a steady flow of traffic of some new and old customers coming through,” said Kayon Tompkins, organizer of the Black-owned business pop-up shop event and owner of Nourish Your Curls.

Tompkins helped organize the event with other Black female entrepreneurs. She said she has seen a growing interest in support since the event first began six years ago.

“When we first started, we were in a small store and now we are in a gym, so that’s more vendors and more clients coming through, so I feel it’s growing more and more.”

Organizers of both events said there was so much enthusiasm and support from businesses and customers that they’re looking forward to planning for next year. Though they say everyday is a great way to shop small.

“People are going to jump on board next year. We have a few restaurants and a privately owned chiropractor office that wants to host some live music and a couple of artists and their menu,” Riva said.

“Support small businesses. We are needed,” Tompkins said.