KNOXVILLE (WATE) – People were picking up gifts and grabbing handfuls of candy on Saturday. All across Knoxville, shoppers were headed to mom-and-pop shops to support small business.
“It seems like each year it kind of gains traction,” said Mast General Store Area Manager Heidi Berg.
Following Thanksgiving and Black Friday, the focus shifts to local stores for Small Business Saturday.
The goal is to give shops, like Mast and Bliss, a leg up and help grow the local community.
“I do online shop, but this was the experience, coming here today,” said shopper Kyle Hastings.
It’s an experience, Connie Arnwine shares with her grandkids. “I grew [in Knoxville] and [Mast] is where we came when we were kids and we just love the fact they’ve rebuilt this area and that you can shop downtown,” Arnwine said. “[My grandchildren] are standing in a store I probably stood in when I was a little girl.”
On top of making memories, people said one of the best parts about shopping local is finding unique gifts you can’t find anyplace else.
“We get so many people coming into the store looking for items made in Tennessee or made in Knoxville,” said Berg.
From candy, to Christmas gifts, puzzles and picture frames, shoppers said they love looking for presents that stand out.
“You can find that special gift instead of mass buying, which is OK for some of the gifts, but sometimes there might be that special thing down here that might be perfect for the special person,” said Hastings.
It’s a special gift that also supports local small business.