Shop at local small businesses

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Saturday is the day to “shop small” in the Flathead Valley and support the backbone of our local business community.

We’re glad to see the momentum Small Business Saturday has gained since it started just seven years ago. The national movement encourages holiday shoppers to consider their community’s smaller businesses while in search of those perfect gifts on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

According to the Montana Department of Commerce, about 41 percent of hourly wage and salary jobs in the state are with businesses employing fewer than 20 people,and 75 percent are with businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Commerce Director Pam Haxby-Cote points out that small businesses account for more than 99 percent of businesses in Montana and are “truly the lifeblood” of Montana’s economy.

And when it comes to giving back, our small business owners typically are the ones who quietly donate items for benefit auctions, sponsor Little League teams and make a difference in myriad other ways. These one-of-a-kind businesses also give our communities character and pizazz, and do their part to draw visitors from far and wide.

So think small, spend big — and let the shopping begin.

Eureka, Columbia Falls prove their mettle

A hardy congratulations is due to two of our local football teams that captured state championships last weekend.

In the State A title game, the Wildcats of Columbia Falls hoisted the school’s first-ever football championship trophy after a 26-14 romp over Hamilton at Satterthwaite Field. These ’Cats, with their bruising style and determination, were simply built for November.

“Everybody just dug deep. It came from the bottom of their hearts,” Wildcat senior Logan Kolodejchuk said after Saturday’s game.

Up north in Eureka, a dominant Lions team continued to flex its strength, capturing the school’s second consecutive Class B championship.

While last season’s title game came down to a heart-stopping Hail Mary on the road, this year Eureka took care of business at home, running roughshod over Shelby 47-7.

Both teams should take time to bask in these titles — they earned it.

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