SBA Encourages ‘Shop Small’ This Holiday Season
Take Root Country Store in Greenwood supports the "shop small' mantra. (photo courtesy: SBA Indiana office)
Ann's Restaurant in Franklin was one of the stops on the #ShopSmallIndiana Walking tour.
Stacey Poynter (center
As Indiana shoppers head online or to a mall in the weeks leading up to Christmas, owners of the state’s smaller retail and restaurant establishments hope you remember them.
“Shop small, shop early, shop safe is the mantra,” said Laura Schafsnitz with the Indiana District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to rethink their shopping plans, giving shop keepers additional concerns on top of the tumultuous year.
“It really has been heightened quite a bit more this year with the pandemic. Small businesses. They’ve been hit hard, but amazingly small businesses are pulling through,” said Schafsnitz.
Saturday is the annual Small Business Saturday campaign, which was launched by American Express eleven years ago to help small businesses gain exposure and to inspire consumers to shop within their own communities during the holiday season.
“Remember, your small businesses are your community businesses and the businesses that are your neighbors. So, we need to support them. And they’re right there next to you, supporting you,” said Schafsnitz.
Last week, SBA Indiana District Director Stacey Poynter led a group of government and civic officials on a walking tour of small shops in Franklin and Greenwood. Poynter says the #ShopSmallIndiana Walking tours are a way to highlight the great small business districts located throughout the state.
“Small businesses are the engine of Indiana’s economy and are responsible for creating over 33 thousand net new jobs last year,” said Poynter. “Shopping small during the holiday season—and throughout the year–allows consumers to make a tremendous impact by supporting small business owners creating jobs in their own neighborhood. By shopping local and shopping small, consumers are investing in the success of their community’s future.”
In 2019, shoppers spent $19.6 billion on Small Business Saturday, according to a survey commissioned by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business.
Christian Maslowski, who is president and chief executive officer of Aspire Economic Development + Chamber Alliance, says he hopes shoppers spend like that again, not only Saturday but year-round.
“Hoosiers’ intentional efforts to buy local has literally helped keep some small businesses open this year. Let’s deliver hope to small businesses this holiday season by renewing our efforts to shop local,” said Maslowski.
While shopkeepers are encouraging customers to stop in, they also realize the healthcare crisis is still a factor.
“Every single place that we went had a sign on the door, ‘Mask required to shop here,’” said Schafsnitz. “We saw a number of cute little signs, and they’re really positive about it. They’re encouraging folks to do those little things in order for all of us to stay safe because they want to stay open. They want to be there to be able to take care of you and take care of your needs.”
Schafsnitz says small business owners are encouraging customers to get shopping done early because the supply chain has been impacted by the pandemic and affecting their ability to get some items people might want for the holidays.
“You’re not going to see a lot of those ads that say, ‘Order on Christmas Eve, you’ll have it on your doorstep on Christmas Day. That’s not happening.'”
Schafsnitz encouraged shoppers to buy early due to supply chain challenges.
Schafsnitz explained why “chain businesses” can be considered a small business.