Shoppers can put some of their money back into the community this weekend.
For the second year, a buy-local initiative called Small Business Saturday aims to steer some of the $466 billion spent on holiday items toward small, locally owned businesses.
The goal of the national movement is to entice people to make at least one holiday purchase at a small business.
"A lot of people like to get up early on Black Friday and line up outside the department store, but if you want to find something unique and support the local economy, then you need to shop at small businesses," said Ben Homeyer, South Carolina director of the National Federation of Independent Business.
The small-business association believes investing in local shops will provide jobs and help to overcome the overall economic malaise in the nation.
"Small businesses are the engine that drives our economy," Homeyer said.
"If we're going to create jobs in this state, we need a healthy small-business community."
"Anything we can do to highlight the importance of supporting local businesses during the holidays and year-round is helpful," Lowcountry Local First executive director Jamee Haley said.
But she also expressed mixed feelings about the event, because many small businesses can't afford to take American Express, which is sponsoring the event by offering a $25 one-time credit on customers' statements if a minimum of $25 is spent on the card at participating stores.
"I think it's great that American Express is bringing national attention to supporting small businesses, but I think it needs to happen more than one day a year," Haley said. "I think they could be doing more, perhaps by lowering the fee for taking American Express for some of these small business owners."
Several local merchants on King Street will take part in Small Business Saturday with specials.
Among them are Verde, Hampden Clothing, The Vault, Worthwhile, Charleston Mattress, Finicky Filly, Haute Hanger, Thera M., Cupcake and Copper Penny.