Holiday Shopping The Best At Locally-Owned Small Businesses Shop Small Saturday Pivots to Small Business Season in Missoula

Local Media

November 16, 2020



Shop Small Saturday Pivots to Small Business Season in Missoula


Small businesses are the backbone of the Missoula-area economy, and many locally-owned small businesses have been drastically impacted by the pandemic. This holiday season, all Missoulians are encouraged to support our local economy and small businesses by shopping and dining in Downtown Missoula during Small Business Season, and the 2020 slogan for the campaign is “Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is!”


Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 to encourage people across the country to support small businesses. As a counter to Black Friday following the Great Recession, the Shop Small Movement grew from one company’s promotion to a nationwide-movement to support small businesses on Main Streets and in downtowns across America.


Missoulians have been celebrating and supporting small, locally-owned businesses since the 1970s. However, the last 15 years have seen a more finite focus on how small businesses – created and sustained by local Missoulians – build strength, diversity, creativity and sustainability in our local economy. A stronger localized economy, in turn, helps protect and insulate our community from the impacts of a national economic downturn.


Spending at locally-owned small businesses keeps dollars circulating in our own community and economy. Supporting our neighbors and friends who own local businesses supports those who give time and time again to our local non-profits, schools, sports teams and community initiatives. During times of crisis – such as the COVID pandemic – supporting small businesses in Missoula means those businesses can keep their doors open, their people employed and their families fed.


This year in Missoula Small Business Saturday has transformed into Small Business Season, commencing on Saturday, Nov. 21 and carrying on through Wednesday, Dec. 23. Downtown businesses are extending hours of operation, offering special promotions, and providing personal touches and connections along the way.


Alongside nearly 200 small restaurants and retail stores, the Missoula Downtown Association (MDA) will be offering special gifts, discounts and prizes for those who join in the movement to “Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is.” Shop & Dine Headquarters will be at the corner of Higgins and Main on Saturdays from 10am-2pm on November 28, December 5, and December 12. Coupons for complimentary hot chocolate, branded shopping bags and handouts on the Downtown specials will be available for pickup in front of the MSO Hub at 140 North Higgins.


“This is a critical time for our Downtown bars, restaurants and retail stores,” said Bob McGowan, President of the MDA Board of Directors. “We want our community to know this: where they spend their dollars matters, and our neighbors and friends need our spending now more than ever! Keeping Missoulians employed and our small businesses open and paying the bills – while ensuring we do all we can to prevent the spread of COVID – is really important. It’s up to us!


“Downtown businesses are open and ready to serve our community,” McGowan added. “We are working together to ensure people wear their masks appropriately in public spaces and stay six feet apart. We have a lot of great holiday activities happening in Downtown this year that will allow families and small groups of friends to enjoy Downtown without mass gatherings.”


Downtown businesses have a multitude of shopping and dining options, including grab and go, curbside pickup, private shopping appointments, pay-it-forward meals, gift cards, and other promotions. For more information on specific specials during the Small Business Season, follow Missoula Downtown on Facebook or Instagram or visit


In addition to Small Business Season, the Downtown Missoula Window Decorating Contest will be open for public voting on Friday, Nov. 27 and continue on through Tuesday, Dec. 15. Typically more than 30 Downtown businesses have entered to win one of the six special awards, presented annually by the Missoula Downtown Association, based upon public votes.


Downtown Missoula will also showcase new holiday lighting season, alongside the Festival of Trees (Nov. 27-Dec. 6) and the REVERSE Parade of Lights on December 5.


For more information on Small Business Season and other activities happening in Downtown Missoula, visit, or call the Downtown Missoula Partnership office at 406-543-4238.


Downtown Missoula: Connecting Our Community!

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