The director of the Evansville Downtown Alliance says Small Business Saturday later this month will be an opportunity to show off a "thriving and growing" sector in southwest Indiana. Joshua Armstrong says the organization is using social media and other platforms to spotlight services that separate small businesses from big-box retailers or online shopping. Armstrong says, in downtown Evansville specifically, the uptick in retail activity has sparked other development, including new hotels, restaurants and more than 150 apartment and condominium units.
Small Business Saturday is November 26. Armstrong says it aims to let small businesses capitalize on the holiday shopping rush in the way that big box retailers do on Black Friday and online retailers do on Cyber Monday. The effort began in 2010 through a partnership between the Trust for Historic Places and American Express.
Armstrong says small retailers are especially important in attracting Millennials and other young professionals to a community. He says those individuals often value community connections more than material goods. As a result, he says individualized service and unique offerings often weigh more on their buying decision than does price.
The ultimate goal, Armstrong says, is to expose more people to small businesses, so they will visit and buy from them throughout the year. He says Small Business Saturday "gives Merchant A a chance with Merchant B’s customers."
"We continue to use our recent Master Plan Update to guide our growth," said Armstrong. "Expect several project announcements shortly. In the meanwhile, #ShopSmallEVV this holiday season."
Armstrong says a strong small business sector can help attract young professionals.