SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – After Black Friday comes Small Business Saturday, and small businesses in the Shreveport area are gearing up Saturday morning to promote their businesses as they look to recover from the effects of COVID-19.

Beginning Saturday, there will be a BINGO game that runs through December 18th where shoppers can earn chances to win prizes for shopping at local participating stores.

“They appreciate that we are spending a day really focusing on them,” said Liz Swaine, Executive Director for the Downtown Development Authority. “And I just encourage folks to focus on them for more than one day.”

Swaine says it’s important to shop local all year, especially between now and Christmas, since business owners tend to make up 40 percent of the U.S. economic activity.

“And our small and local business, of that 40 percent that they make, most of it stays local. It goes right back into our local economy into our tax base; it doesn’t go anywhere else,” says Swaine.

Over 25 small businesses in the Shreveport area will have the opportunity to network and possibly gain long-term clients.

Michelle Pennington, the owner of High Gravity Glassworks, says she is excited for what’s to come on Saturday. Pennington has about 14 years of experience making hand-blown glass objects.

“Honestly, what better gift is a gift that’s handmade and bought local. And the more money you spent locally, the more money goes back into your community, so I think it’s the best thing they could do,” says Pennington.

Appli-K’s owner Katy Rhodes says she manages the store with her husband and mother. She says supporting local businesses like theirs means supporting local families, and that money goes right back into the local community in other ways.

You can pick up a BINGO game at any participating business here, make a purchase, and get a stamp. You can also download and print your card here as well. Once you have a BINGO (or five spots filled with store stamps), you can enter. But the more stamps you get, the more chances you get to win.

Your BINGO card must be dropped off at 416 Cotton Street (in the mail slot on the front of the building) or you can send a good clear photo of your completed card by email.

If you make five purchases at five small and local businesses in Downtown Shreveport, you could win a big gift basket worth $250 and other prizes.

You can see a list of all participating stores and more information about the BINGO game here.