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Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday a Great Way to Support Your Local Community

With the Black Friday rush at big retailers over, holiday shoppers still searching for that perfect gift can look to the unique products and services offered by local mom and pop businesses on Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is Nov. 29, 2014 and independent shop owners in Sevier County and across Tennessee will be hoping for a boost in sales from consumers who support the retailers rooted in their own communities.

American Express first introduced Small Business Saturday in 2010 as a way to encourage consumers to patronize local small businesses. Since then, it has become a shop local movement across the United States, even earning the support of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Small, independent business owners often carry upscale, handcrafted or unique products unavailable at big box stores because the producers of these products cannot meet the large volume requirements of retail chain stores.

Residents and visitors shopping in Sevier County are fortunate to have a great selection of small businesses from which to choose.

The shops in the Great Smoky Mountain Arts & Crafts Community are a good place to start shopping for those one of a kind gifts that friends and family will treasure. They offer an incredible selection of heritage crafts and fine art such as watercolor and oil paintings, ceramics, stained glass, photography, jewelry, quilts, brooms, leather, woodcarving and even small batch chocolates, fudge and candy.

Many local restaurants offer gift cards. In addition, restaurants such as The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge and The Apple Barn in Sevierville have delicious specialty food items that make great gifts.

If you have wine enthusiasts on your holiday shopping list, there are a number of wineries in Sevier County. Hillside Winery in Sevierville creates Italian style and bubbly wines, while Eagle Springs Winery in Kodak creates their wine from honey! Many wineries in Tennessee offer gift membership to their wine club in which the recipient receives regular shipments of wine direct from the winery.

If you seek something a bit stronger than wine, the local moonshine distillery boom now makes acquiring the previously illegal high-proof spirits as simple as a drive to Gatlinburg or Pigeon Forge.

Instead of buying that Christmas tree from a large retailer or an out of state tree vendor set up in a vacant lot, you and your family may start a new tradition of choosing and cutting your own tree at the Wilson Glyn Christmas Tree Farm in Sevierville.

Gift certificates to independently owned local attractions, lodging or activities also make great gifts, horseback riding or zip lining gift certificates for example.

Pick Tennessee Products at is an easy way to find locally produced products. The site offers links to food, attractions, farmers markets and agricultural products, as well as the Taste of Tennessee online store with gift baskets.

“America’s small business owners are on the front lines when it comes to creating new jobs and opportunities,” President Barack Obama said in a statement on Tuesday. “Small businesses are the cornerstones of our communities. From shops and restaurants that showcase the talents of entrepreneurs to innovative companies that bolster local economies, small businesses define our neighborhoods and towns.”

Obama added, “As we mark Small Business Saturday, let us continue to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit wherever we find it.”

While Small Business Saturday is a great way to increase awareness about supporting local small businesses, remember that you can support small businesses in your local community all year long.

About Candice Fitzgibbons

I am a Sevier County resident and active in my local community. I’ve spent more than 20 years as a graphic designer and copywriter, creating marketing materials to help small to medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations achieve their goals. I have a passion for equality, the environment and animal rights.