EAST ALTON - Whether its your local mom-and-pop hardware store that has been around since before you can even recall, or even the newest boutique for dance and yoga clothing, small businesses are important to the livelihood of business owners, employees and the customers they serve.

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Many of these small businesses are joining forces to celebrate what makes one another unique and encourage shoppers to "shop small" this holiday season with Small Business Saturday. In the campaign launched by credit card giant American Express, the initiative spread the message to consumers to shop small and local during the holiday season. In the six years since its initial launch, the campaign has grown insurmountably. 

With local area businesses joining in with the promotion of Small Business Saturday, several shops and restaurants are offering deals to bring more customers through their doors. In Glitzee Barre's case, the new boutique is celebrating their grand opening.

Katie Maxwell, owner of Glitzee Barre, which is located at 1133 E Airline Dr. in East Alton, has been passionate about dance for as long as she can remember.

"I have been a dancer my whole life and my mom owns the studio across the road," Maxwell said. "I've always wanted my own dance wear store. It's part of the family, so it's been pretty exciting but there was a lot to do."

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With clothing and accessories for the beginning toddler dancer all the way to the competitive adult dancer, Glitzee Barre is excited to help the area's dancers with all of their glitz and glamour needs.  

"We have dance, gymnastics and yoga wear as well as holiday outfits for young girls," she said. "We also have a birthday party room for dress-up and makeover parties." 

Businesses like Glitzee Barre play a pivotal role in local economies in many ways, but with large retailers flooding the market, it is shocking how often these business are left behind. Luckily with initiatives like Small Business Saturday, these businesses are celebrated now more than ever. 

To see a list of area businesses participating in Small Business Saturday, visit the American Express website. For more information about Glitzee Barre, visit the business's Facebook page

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