As the weather gets colder and the holiday season draws near, Shawnee business owners encourage members of the community to shop local and purchase unique gifts for their friends and loved ones.

According to owner of the Vintage Depot Kimberly Rogers, while there may not be Black Friday sales at local stores, the Vintage Depot and other local business will be participating in Shop Small: Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30.

"We're encouraging people to come out and support the community by shopping small," Rogers said. "At our store...you can take pictures with Santa or the Grinch. We're going to have a sale and there will be refreshments."

The business owner explained it's important for people to visit their community's mom and pop shops because it helps Shawnee and its residents.

"It supports our community and it helps us to grow and work together as a community," Rogers said.

The Vintage Depot, Rogers said has been open since 2016 and has a large collection of interesting gifts that'll invoke nostalgia.

"We have vintage and antique items that will bring back memories of the past," Rogers said.

According to owner of T-Box Antiques & More Heather Hulsey, her store offers a variety of one of a kind items that make wonderful Christmas gifts.

"We have everything from tools to furniture and we have over 50 booths in here of unique antiques, toys and just everything," Hulsey said.

The business owner explained it's important for people to shop at places such as T-Box Antiques to show their support for local businesses.

"It help keeps the small businesses open and it helps the town," Hulsey said. "I think unique gifts make it more special."

In addition to T-Box, the local boutique Wystle offers unique and interesting items for people to purchase.

According to owner Rachael Melot, Wystle has everything from jewelry to home goods to toys to clothes.

"We have very unique ornaments...(We have) great mens gifts so things for a man's office or great mens stocking stuffers or shave cream and beard oil," Melot said.

Melot also said Wystle has wonderful dishware, snow globe launders, games for toddlers, accessories and other winter clothing items.

The business owner explained there are numerous reasons why people should purchase gifts from their local retailers.

"The most important reason that you want to shop local is that local stores provide jobs for local people and...every time you shop local you're helping employee people who also live, work and play in our community," Melot said. "Local retailers are the retailers who also give back."

Melot explained she donates to various community programs including school groups, agriculture groups and other non profits.

"The big boxes and out of town (businesses) aren't doing any of that. They're not contributing to our not for profit organizations here in our community that are doing great for people," Melot said.

According to owner of Reeves Antiques & Things Jackie Dunsworth, in addition to giving back to the community, local retailers have gift items that can hardly be found anywhere else.

"We've got knives. We've got...pottery. We've got...glassware. We've...got a lot of different stuff that would make really good gifts for less than $20," Dunsworth said.

Dunsworth explained many local shops have items at reasonable prices and sometimes establishments such as her's can offer a look into Shawnee's history.

"Sometimes in these antique shops you can find stuff about Shawnee," Dunsworth said. "If (people are) coming in from out of town and they've got family here then they can see old pictures of Shawnee...You can pick up some really good deals."

Following Black Friday and before Cyber Monday, these and other local business owners ask the community and those visiting to explore Shawnee and take the weekend to shop small.