Support Someone’s Dream on Small Business Saturday

On Saturday, November 24 the annual holiday shopping tradition that gets communities everywhere out in support of their favorite small businesses will take to Downtown Missoula for Small Business Saturday. With sales, deals, and holiday treats found throughout Downtown, the entire community is invited to support their friends, family, and neighbors by shopping and dining small during the ninth nationally-promoted event.

Started by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday has grown in size and popularity throughout the United States. In some ways, it has become a movement to encourage communities to not only shop small during the holidays, but make it a habit to do so throughout the entire year.

“It’s been so fun watching Small Business Saturday really become a thing these past few years,” Aimee McQuilkin, owner of Betty’s Divine said. “So many people come out and enjoy Downtown Missoula with friends and family to shop, eat and linger over coffee. It’s encouraging watching Missoulians become more intentional about where they choose to shop and how their dollars can truly go to support the dreams of their neighbors.”

“Last year multiple merchants indicated they had more than doubled their previous Small Business Saturday sales,” Linda McCarthy, Executive Director of the Downtown Missoula Partnership – the umbrella organization comprised of the MDA, Downtown Business Improvement District, and the Missoula Downtown Foundation said. “This is a clear indicator to us that Missoula believes in supporting small, locally-owned businesses. When our small businesses succeed, the entire economic system of Missoula is strengthened.”

The MDA will again host a “Shop Small Headquarters” at the MSO Hub (140 N. Higgins) from 10am-3pm during Small Business Saturday. Free hot cocoa, Shop Small goodies, and a list of Small Business Saturday sales and deals at Downtown boutiques, shops, restaurants, and cafes will be available to all shoppers. New this year, shoppers will be able to pick up a Shop Small Bingo Card to get stamped at participating businesses and bring back to the headquarters for a chance to win great prizes.

Small Business Saturday acts as the kick off to the holiday shopping season in Downtown Missoula. In the weeks that follow, Downtown will host a large number of community happenings aimed at creating a festive and welcoming atmosphere for shoppers and their families. Free horse-drawn carriage rides provided by The Resort at Paws Up, and sponsored by Lithia Ford of Missoula, will take place every Saturday and Sunday from 11am-4pm on East Pine Street, starting November 24 and continuing until December 16. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be making appearances at the Florence Hotel Lobby for the 16th annual Parade of Lights on Saturday, December 1. The Parade of Lights will start at 6pm on the Hip Strip at the corner of Higgins and Fourth, moving to the north end of Higgins for the Lighting of the Tree, the Bonfire and free cocoa, cookies and caroling. The Festival of Trees will be hosted on the sixth floor of the First Interstate Bank Building in Downtown (101 E. Front St.) November 30 – December 9 and will feature 30 beautifully-decorated holiday trees and wreaths designed be local artists, families and businesses.

McCarthy reiterated, “Our Downtown, along with Missoula businesses, provides one of the most unique, personal, and festive experiences during the holiday season. We welcome everyone into the heart of Missoula to shop and spend locally.”

Shoppers are encouraged to remember their license plate number when using the multispace, digital parking meters. Upon finalizing payment, shoppers can re-park on the streets throughout Downtown until the paid time expires. The first hour is free weekdays in the Park Place and Central Park parking structures, Monday through Friday 8am-5pm. Parking Downtown is free after 5pm, weekends, and Federal holidays. Smart phone users can utilize the Passport Parking app via their App Store. Store license plate information, payment information, and pay for parking anywhere you have your phone.

The Downtown Missoula Partnership encourages all Missoulians to support the local economy by shopping and dining Downtown November 24 on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season. When you shop and dine small, you are supporting someone’s dream. More information can be found online at or by contacting the Downtown Missoula Partnership staff via phone (543-4238) or email (