Strategically scheduled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the day after arguably the busiest shopping day of the year has become "Small Business Saturday", when what many consider the backbone of free enterprise officially takes center stage for the eighth straight year.
Shopping local on small business Saturday not only supports these stores, but also puts money directly back into the community and economy.
And supporting small business is about more than supporting the local economy - it's about a more personal shopping experience for the customer.
"A lot of them do rely on Small Business Saturday to especially kick-start their holiday season", said Stacey Simeone, marketing director for the Downtown Raleigh Alliance. And businesses owned by people of color got a boost from a viral Twitter thread.
For Kerry Punzi, the best day of the year is the Saturday after Thanksgiving - when small businesses like hers get the attention they deserve.
"People are specifically here to see what we do and new people come in to see what we do and how we do things".
Small Business Saturday is a nationwide shopping event that Meridian shops participated in.
Small Business Saturday Spotlights Local Stores
The SBA encourages people to "Shop Small", and sharing splurges on social media with the hashtag: #ShopSmall.
Small businesses donate 250% more than larger businesses to non-profits and community causes.
"For us it was just let's just do this and see if it works", Michele Henry said.
"I think small businesses are the heart of the community", said Lara Harrison, owner of Under Charlie's Covers in Bernalillo.
Many small retailers and restaurants in the Greenville area are offering specials today as part of the national promotion, which American Express financial services company initiated as small marketing campaign 2010 to balance numbers at big box stores and national chains on Black Friday.
According to a 2016 Huffington Post article on local employment impact, small businesses account for between 60 percent and 80 percent of all U.S.jobs. Want to help your favorite businesses stay in business or grow?
Participants could win as much as $500 by deciphering the clues, visiting the businesses and turning the scavenger hunt in. "Really a treasure to have a store like this available to people in the neighborhood", said Fagan. You could also match donations from your customers to your chosen charity.