SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Every year, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to support local establishments.

This year, that support could be more vital for business owners amid ongoing supply chain issues and COVID-related economic impacts.

“Although we thought that 2020 was a tough year, 2021 was like the aftermath,” said Elondia Harden, the owner of the locally based Elon Wick Candle Company. “And then we started seeing greater issues with supply chain because domestic suppliers are having a struggle, so then they’re having to order from overseas and so it holds the little guys up.”

The disruptions are impacting many small businesses nationwide and here in Savannah.

“We’re seeing all these large ships are waiting to be docked in the ports,” said Harden, “a lot of supplies are just sitting there.”

She says the supplies she needs have been impacted by this.

“I’ve seen inflation on products, I’ve seen a $30 jump on the price of a case of wax for my candles, I’ve seen shortages,” Harden said.

Harden says that being patient with business owners who are providing a service is an important part of supporting local businesses — especially amid supply chain issues.

“I am a one-woman band. I am the accountant, I am the manufacturer, I am the shipper,” said Harden.

She says it’s important for consumers to understand that not all small businesses operate the same.

“A lot of us do not have the luxury of having staff,” Harden said.

Savannah’s small businesses are an essential part of the city’s identity and economy.

“We hope that this past year, year and a half, has proven that small businesses are the backbone of our community,” said Harden.

She says when you shop small, you’re supporting more than just a business.

“You’re helping someone keep their lights on, you’re helping someone feed their family,” Harden said.

Supporting local businesses this Saturday can look a lot of different ways, says Harden — and it doesn’t have to mean making a big purchase.

She says spreading the word about a business you like to friends and family or posting about it on social media is another great way to lend support.

Free parking will be available from noon to 8 p.m. in city-owned garages on select days, including Small Business Saturday.