Small Business Saturday heralds the holiday season for local businesses

HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) – During the holiday season, local businesses in the city are kicking things up a notch and ‘Small Business Saturday’ gives them a chance to shine for customers.

Small Business Saturday ushers in the holiday season for several local businesses in town, and Homewood businesses say these are days when it’s a very important time for them.

According to Alabama Goods, this weekend gives local businesses a glimpse of how prosperous they are going to be in the new year.

Local shoppers Meagan Kennedy and Caroline Bruce say they love shopping together in downtown Homewood. Bruce says shopping local isn’t just charming, it’s important.

“The money we spend here goes back into the local economy instead of shopping in big department stores,” Bruce said. “So just supporting our local community. It is great.”

It’s one reason stores like Alabama Goods say they work hard to keep customers happy.

“Especially if you have one or two locations and you’re not spread across the country, you really need to make sure that location stays in business – that your customers are happy and satisfied and want to come back and shop with you again,” Mary Wheless said , an employee at Alabama Goods.

Wheless says her store’s appeal stems from her focus on Alabama-made goods. It’s that difference from physical stores that At Home Furnishings is also working on to keep traction.

“We’re thrilled every day,” said Dykes Culp, At Home store manager. “I mean, we come out with new products every day. We have new items throughout the store. We have customers who come once a week and see something new every time they come here.”

“I just think it’s important to keep the business going,” said At Home store owner Babbie Styslinger.

This unique twist on local business products and trends is what some say keeps them coming back.

“It just looks a little bit different – a little bit more unique,” said local buyer Dylan Wilcox. “Generally smaller batch production. You know, local people only make a handful of these pieces, so it shows in their work.”

Alabama Goods and At Home Furnishings hope people shop locally not just during the holidays, but all year round, because what’s true now for success is true year-round.