KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — After people enjoy their Thanksgiving meals, deals on all kinds of holiday gifts usually come along.
Most people start searching for those deals on Black Friday as major retailers start offering lower prices on big gifts. Shoppers tend to fill malls and warehouse stores, but after Black Friday other local stores get a chance to get more customers through their doors.
On Small Business Saturday, holiday shopping becomes more local. The day is meant to encourage people to stop by stores in the community, picking up gifts from small businesses so they can share in the increased holiday sales.
Small Business Saturday started in 2010 as a response to the Great Recession when local businesses across the U.S. struggled to make ends meet. In 2011, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution acknowledging Small Business Saturday too.
According to a study by Lending Tree, nearly half of all Americans planned to shop on Small Business Saturday and spend around $305 on average. In the study, experts said that more people want to shop locally as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Many of these local businesses were in real danger during the pandemic, in large part because they didn’t have the resources that large national chains had to ride out the storm,” they said in the study.
Around 63% of Americans said they know a small business in their community that closed permanently because of the pandemic. Around 57% of consumers said major retailers like Amazon hurt local businesses.
In the study, officials said 63% of consumers were more loyal to small businesses as a result of the pandemic. They also said 22% of Americans intentionally shop at minority-owned businesses more often than they did before the pandemic.
"The small mom-and-pop shops are the people that come in every day," said Jeff Huggins, the owner of Biker Rags, a local business that sells accessories for motorcyclists. "They live in the community, they spend their money in the community, they support the community. The people that work here and live here. Especially now that we are in Clinton. It's that small-town feel we are really happy to be here."
The Old City Market is also planning to host an event Saturday from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m. The market features booths set up by local vendors, crafters and artists. The event will be on West Jackson Avenue.