MASON CITY — Holiday sales and promotions don’t end with Black Friday. Small Business Saturday is almost more important for downtown areas, according to Main Street Mason City.

“It’s hugely important,” said Colleen Devine, director of Main Street Mason City. “We need to make sure this goes well.”

Main Street Mason City has been promoting Small Business Saturday on social media and offers promotional items to local shops.

“We really need small business to power the downtown renaissance,” Devine said.

The event is still new. This year is the seventh national Small Business Saturday.

In 2015, more than 95 million Americans spent a combined $16.2 billion at independent neighborhood retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

“The SBA is proud to support Iowa’s local communities statewide,” Jayne Armstrong, district director of SBA’s Iowa District Office, said in a statement. “From our smallest towns to our largest cities, small businesses are the heart and soul of Iowa’s economy.”

One of the newest shops in downtown Mason City, Lucy & Olive, is hosting a holiday open house through the weekend. The store opened in June on the Southbridge Mall plaza.

Owners Angi Louscher and Brenda Jacobs’ home décor business features lamps, candles, gift items, mittens, treats and more.

“We’re focusing mostly on gift items rather than decorations for the holidays,” Louscher said.

Christmas trees full of mittens, socks, candles, hats and scarves were placed throughout the store in preparation for the holiday weekend.

There will be giveaways, snacks and drinks for shoppers, including a holiday survival kit.

When the store first opened, the owners worked with Soyphisticated Candles of Mason City to make candles inspired by and named after their children.

“Those have become one of our best sellers,” Jacobs said. “We need to reorder almost every month.”

Since those were successful, Lucy & Olive partnered with Soyphisticated Candles again to create a special holiday candle.

This is the store’s first big holiday weekend with Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

“We’re trying to make this fun for everyone,” Louscher said. “We’re excited.”

Lucy & Olive is expanding its hours until Christmas, adding noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.

Since opening, Louscher and Jacobs have made their first few hires for the store.

“It’s really helping us out,” Jacobs said.

Small businesses have been responsible for creating two out of every three net new jobs in the U.S., Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA administrator said in a statement.

Real Deals on Home Decor in Mason City will also participate in Small Business Saturday with store specials.

“We are encouraging our current Real Deals fans, as well as those that haven’t been to our store, to shop local,” owner Lisa O’Tool said. “We have new decor and boutique clothing and accessories every week.”

The Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will give out free tote bags to those shopping Saturday.

The chamber is also encouraging shoppers to post a selfie with a Clear Lake purchase on Facebook or Instagram with #clearlakeiowa. One of those posting will be randomly drawn to win $50 in Chamber bucks.

Larson’s Mercantile in Clear Lake will participate in Small Business Saturday with a sale, including discounts on fabric and puzzles.

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