Small Business Saturday is a 'big' deal to local stores
Leave the crowds, camping outside and toy snatching to Black Friday. Holiday shopping no longer is set solely on the day after Thanksgiving.
Small Business Saturday offers people a chance to support locally owned stores, and there's a big push for shoppers to get out of the big box stores.
The holidays are vital for some small businesses. Some estimate they make half of their yearly sales during this time of year alone.
While some are flocking to malls and electronic stores, others like Craig Raughton are staying far away from big box stores on Black Friday.
"I know these guys. They know me. I get out and run with them from time to time, and they're super active in the community," he said.
When Raughton needs a new pair of running shoes, there's no other place he would rather go than the locally owned Fast Break Athletics store on the NorthShore.
"We are the state's oldest run shop. We've been in business since 1977. Forty-one years; we are locally owned, one door mom and pop," Alan Outlaw with Fast Break Athletics said.
Their recipe for success is their service and personal experience they offer customers.
"Folks can come in and sit down with us and address an issue or talk about their running, their training and injuries," Outlaw explained.
If long lines and fighting for a parking spot stresses you out, small businesses may be the answer. However, owners say people should support local year round and not just on a single day.
"We want to put a spin on that and say 'you know what, you don't have to feel sorry for us to come shop with us,' the reason you want to come hang out with us is to get that community connection," he said.
Spending local keeps the cash local too. For every $100 people spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community they spent it in.
It's why Raughton shops small instead and supports local businesses and their owners.
"There is so much greater appreciation from small owners when you make an investment in what they're doing, whereas the big box stores don't seem to care," he said.
Fast Break Athletics is hosting an informal run from the NorthShore to the Southside highlighting Chattanooga small businesses along the way.
The small business community run begins at 8:30 am on Saturday at Fast Break Athletics. There will be coffee and cinnamon rolls waiting for you back at the store when you finish.
According to American Express, shoppers spent $14.3-billion at locally owned stores and restaurants last year on Small Business Saturday.