It's the most wonderful time of the year for many East Tennessee small businesses. Small Business Saturday is the day where local businesses shine during the holiday retail rush.
Market Square was packed for the opening of the ice rink and Small Business Saturday. Shoppers want to shop local and keep their money local.
Erin Howett works for Rala in Market Square. She said Small Business Saturday is important not only for the business itself, but also for the community.
Howett said 50% of the money made in a small business goes back into the community. These smaller businesses also help give people from out of town a feeling for what East Tennessee is all about.
"There are people that come in here literally every day, and we know who they are. And even total strangers... you can have the most incredible conversations. With a small setting like this, you have a few minutes to get to know someone and you can actually help them as opposed to convincing them to buy something they don't need because it's a good black Friday deal," said Howett.
Although there is concern about how the bigger retailers, these smaller shops are confident they won't be hurt in the long run.
Howett said all of Rala's products are sourced locally and regionally. This gives you a chance to buy a part of your own community for the holidays.