GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Big-box stores are certain to get a lot of business over the next five weeks of the holiday shopping season, but local merchants are asking shoppers to give them a try first.
At Nawara Brothers in Grand Rapids, assistant manager Tom Lamancusa says, "My grandfather started [the business] in 1948."
Lamancusa is the third generation of family members running the business.
"It was a very small hardware store," he says, "and over the years we expanded into appliances, televisions, and beddings."
The store has survived, in part, because of customers who prefer to shop local.
"It's great people," Lamancusa says. "They're loyal, and they always come back."
Lamancusa says his store offers a 30-day price-match guarantee, and there is always someone available who can help.
At Frames Unlimited in Kentwood, senior manager Kathleen Ford says its the store's knowledgeable staff members who put them above the rest in the business.
"I feel that we have a lot more to offer than a big box store," says Ford. "All of us have been here 15 years or more. We understand what people want from their precious pieces."
Frames Unlimited recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. It's a locally owned store that sells local art pieces. The staff can also create something for you.
"We can take your memories, your jerseys -- even you're Batman toy -- and frame-it up to display it for your family," says Ford.
"When you buy local, about 80% of that stays within the state or city," says Lamancusa.