Small Business Saturday on the Southside

Southside businesses participate in American Express’ annual Shop Small event

American Express provides these Shop Small canvas tote bags to businesses registered with them to participate in Small Business Saturday.

It’s the start of the shopping season. While many Southside residents shop larger, chain stores on Black Friday, local retailers are hoping to attract those customers on the following day for Small Business Saturday.

The Greater Beech Grove Chamber of Commerce, Restore Old Town Greenwood and locally owned businesses have registered with American Express for its special Shop Small event, taking place this year on Nov. 25. American Express provides canvas tote bags that participating businesses can fill with discounts or goods.

“Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year,” said Greater Beech Grove Chamber of Commerce board member and owner of Eckstein Shoe Store & Repair, Jim Coffman. “Part of that is when you go shop those big stores, you get those great deals, but a lot of people don’t realize there are still a lot of small shops left and you can still get those great deals there.”

For the third year, the Beech Grove chamber will pass out Shop Small bags to local shops on Nov. 25 at the Delta Theta Tau Craft Fair, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Beech Grove High School. From there, shoppers can venture on to Main Street to shop the local businesses and receive special deals.

Participating businesses include Beech Grove Bowl, Treasure Trove in the Grove, Spalding Jewelry, The Vault, Rustic Root, Tea Room at Rustic Root, Eckstein Shoes, Face It Your Nailed and Mom’s Family Restaurant. Those that participate in the chamber’s Main Street Shop Small passport can turn the completed passport in to Beech Grove Bowl, Eckstein Shoes or Rustic Root for a chance to win a $100 gift basket.

“A lot of my customers, I have met through doing this Shop Small Saturday event,” said Tammy Hanna, owner of Rustic Root and the Tea Room at Rustic Root. “It’s been a real benefit to us. We get to give coupons, pens or whatever gifts that business owners want to put in there and then we hand them out at the craft fair so people can venture down Main Street. We’re really excited about it.”

Restore Old Town Greenwood will participate in Shop Small Saturday for the first time this year with American Express. The all-volunteer group will hand out 200 canvas tote bags at Take Root Country Store, 202 N. Madison Ave., Greenwood, from 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. The first 50 shoppers to arrive will receive totes filled with treats and coupons plus coffee and doughnuts. Twenty of those bags will have discount cards, named “Old Town Dollars” to spend at selected businesses.

“We hope people will come out and take advantage of the fun,” said Jennifer Hollingshead, Restore Old Town Greenwood member who is coordinating the Shop Small event. “I’m hoping it brings some excitement. I’m hoping we have a large crowd and meet some residents, whether they’re from Old Town Greenwood or traveling from somewhere else.”

Eclective, 2915 S. Meridian St. Indianapolis, will hand out tote bags to the first 50 guests who come through the door, filled with handmade items chosen from the shop’s selection of 80 vendors. Eclective will do giveaways throughout the day, 10 percent off the entire store and serve refreshments.

“People need to think outside big box stores and think of supporting not only local businesses, but also our shop is filled with 80 other small business owners,” said Eclective Co-owner Melinda Hess. “It’s important to support your community and small businesses around you so they can thrive.”

*For local, small business gift ideas, pick up a copy of this week’s Southside Times and open to the 2017 Gift Guide!