As many retailers prepare for the expected rush of shoppers on Black Friday, downtown businesses are holding their own event to show shoppers what local businesses have to offer.
The first Black Wednesday event is being held today.
Terry Cook, owner of Candies & More, said the idea for Black Wednesday came after talking to other local business owners during downtown meet and greet events.
"The big box stores do Black Friday, and we wanted to do our own thing," Cook said. "We figure that people will be coming downtown to cash their paychecks and can shop locally to see what we have to offer."
Cook said, including his own, there are 11 downtown businesses that are taking part in Black Wednesday. The day is expected to last until 7 p.m. tonight.
"We've got businesses up and down the whole street," he said. "It's not just in one area."
He added that most businesses will have sales and deals.
"Most have inside specials that you'll need to come inside to see what they are," he said. "It's just a way to get in and see local businesses and save some money."
Mary Kay Daniel, owner of Mary Kay's Gifts & Home Decor, said she decided to participate in Black Wednesday because she believes it will bring in customers.
"The more businesses that can stay open later on Black Wednesday, the better," she said. "It'll be nice to get some people coming downtown."
Because this is the first Black Wednesday, Daniel said she's unsure of what to expect. However, she's hopeful it will be successful.
"I'm hoping for the best," she said. "I don't know what to expect, but I'm hoping for great things."
She added that she's hopeful Small Business Saturday, which will be held this Saturday, will be successful as well.
"I want to do as much as I can to help support small businesses," Daniel said. "Not just downtown, but all over Fort Dodge. This is a great way to support that."
"We just want to let people know that we are hoping they'll shop locally," he said. "Saturday is Small Business Saturday, so we thought we'd open the doors early for Wednesday."