RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) -- With the official holiday shopping season starting the day after Thanksgiving, most Central Virginians will head to the box stores - like Best Buy or Target - to take advantage of the savings.
But how do small businesses think outside of the box and compete with the mega stores? After all, many do not have advertising budgets or the ability to offer the "doorbusters" and incentives of their competitors.
"It's definitely a challenge and it's especially a challenge when they do huge sales. Being a small boutique it's hard to compete with that," Katie Butz, of Monkees Boutique, said.
Monkees is a small women's clothing store in Henrico. Butz said social media helps get to customers they would otherwise be unable to reach through advertisement.
"We have really done well with Facebook - everyday we post a new outfit outfit of the day," Butz said.
Kate Norton of Panache Jewelry store says the secret is customer service - offering things the big stores might not have time to offer.
"We got an all day demonstration going on for earrings and kind of a make and take where you can sit down and make earrings with us all day," Norton says.
This year, there is an increase focus on shopping at small businesses - and for good reason.
Small businesses pay 44 percent of the total US private payroll and are responsible for creating 65 percent of all new jobs between 1992 and 2009, according to the US Small Business Administration.
During the latest recession over 200,000 small business jobs were lost when many shoppes were forced to close.
"The backbone of our economy here and around the country is small business," Rep. Eric Cantor told CBS 6 Thursday.
Saturday, November 24 is Small Business Saturday. More information is available here.