LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Mom-and-pop shops celebrated “Small Business Saturday” after a challenging year. One Little Rock business owner said Arkansas shoppers are keeping small spots afloat.

“I think people are really realizing how important it is to shop local and keep the small businesses in the community alive,” said Brandy McNair, the owner of Bella Vita Jewelry.

A national study indicates around 34% of Americans said they would shop this year, which is up from 30% last year. 

“Small Business Saturday is always a really good day for us,” McNair said. “People always come out to support.”

Global supply-chain problems made respondents worry, as around 74% said they’ve seen price increases related to these issues. 

“We didn’t have quite as many problems [as other businesses,] but we do work with a couple of larger companies where we are still waiting on shipments,” McNair said.

For McNair, the foot traffic Saturday was heavier than it was last year when the pandemic was in full swing.

“We opened up with lots of precautions, limited shoppers at a time and masking,” McNair said.

McNair said local shoppers can help small businesses by spending money in town instead of paying larger corporate retailers.

“Think of the life of the community and what the small businesses bring to every community they’re in,” McNair said.