Deal-seekers encouraged to “Shop Small”

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In-between the madness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, there's a focus Saturday on shopping small and it's music to the ears of some small business owners here in the Quad Cities.

"I built my first guitar when I was a freshman in high school," said Alan Morrison, whose focus now is on building future generations of guitar players. "I started part-time and it snowballed really quickly."

He went from doing some repairs and lessons here and there in 2009, to a full retail store near 53rd Ave. in Davenport.

"I have the time to pay attention to each guitar as it gets unboxed and get it set up so it plays nice," said Morrison.

It's one of the things that makes his store stand out in a crowd of Targets, Best Buys and Wal-Marts.

"Being a smaller business, it's kind of a struggle to compete with some of the bigger places,” he said.

Small Business Saturday started two years ago, with a national focus on shoppers going to local shops, like AM Guitar Works, as opposed to big box stores, like Guitar Center.

This weekend, another Quad City business is rolling out the welcome mat, encouraging all of us to shop small.

The Grape Life, off Kimberly Rd., is another specialized shop that prides itself on one-on-one attention.

Co-owner, Jim Renkes, says the proof is in the grape and the customer.

"They know that there are probably places they can get this wine a little cheaper, but they come in here because they know we're here to help in whatever way we can," said Renkes.

Help is what it's all about and Small Business Saturday's calendar designation, for both stores, hits all the right notes.

AM Guitar Works will offer 40% discounts on select items Saturday.