HOMEWOOD, Ala. (WIAT) — During the holiday season, local shops around town kick business into high gear, and ‘Small Business Saturday’ gives them a chance to shine for customers.

‘Small Business Saturday’ kicks off the holiday season for several local businesses around town and businesses in Homewood say days it’s a very important time for them.

Alabama Goods says this weekend gives local shops an indication of how successful business will be going into the new year.

Local shoppers Meagan Kennedy and Caroline Bruce say they love shopping in downtown Homewood together. Bruce says shopping local is not only charming, but important.

“The money that we’re spending here goes back into the local economy versus, you know, buying from big box stores,” Bruce said. “So just supporting our local community. It’s great.”

This is a reason why stores like Alabama Goods say they work hard to keep customers happy.

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

Wheless says their store’s draw comes from their focus on Alabama made goods. It’s that distinction from box stores that At Home Furnishings also works to uphold for traction.

“We’re excited every day,” At Home store manager, Dykes Culp said. “I mean we’ve got new product coming out every day. We’ve got new items throughout the store. We have customers who come in once a week and they’re seeing something new every time that they come in here.”

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

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

“It just looks a little different- a little more unique,” said local shopper, Dylan Wilcox. “Generally smaller batch production. You know, people local are just making a handful of these pieces so it shows in their work.”

Alabama Goods and At Home Furnishings say they hope people will continue to shop local not just during the holidays, but all year long because what applies to success now, applies year-round.