Knoxville businesses encourage customers to shop local for ‘Small Business Saturday’

American Express markets the event with #ShopSmall

KNOXVILLE (WATE)- Small business owners have a place between Black Friday and Cyber Monday–Small Business Saturday. Created in 2010 by American Express, the day highlights the benefits of shopping and buying local.

In Knoxville, more than seventy businesses are participating this year. Some offering special gifts with purchase, sales, and even “Shop and Sip” features to celebrate the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

“Over the years it’s developed into more nationwide awareness as to how important it is to shop small. Now I get an influx of people who want to shop small and support local businesses,” said Jodi Bowlin, Owner of Knoxville Soap, Candle, and Gifts.

More: Blount County businesses offer discounts for ‘Small Business Saturday’

Bowlin bought her business seven years ago and built it into a haven for Knoxville artists, designers, authors, and more to sell their goods. She has 90 vendors selling products in her store, but it’s her customers that keep sharing their experiences and growing her business.

“It’s community outreach, it’s ministry work, it’s women supporting women, it’s small business owners helping each other grow their businesses,” Bowlin said.

Another Knoxville business manager, Matthew Smith, works at Echelon Florist and Gifts. For 22 years, he says, this business has gotten to know the customers.

“You have to know what’s coming to be able to accomplish that. If you don’t know what your customers want it’s really hard to be successful if you don’t know that as a small business,” said Smith.

Eddie Reymond, owner of Eddie’s Health Shop, says this year the day will be an opportunity to highlight featured products from the store’s social media accounts.

“Being local are we not only able to give our customers the highest quality products but we can build relationships we can learn our customers. To see what they need and see what is important for them and what is not important to them. Building relationships: that’s important to us,” said Reymond.

Bowlin will have four vendors in shop on Saturday an author, a florist, an artist, and a jewelry trunk show.

Full information of special events as well as businesses participating in Small Business Saturday can be found here.

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