By Brenda L. Holmes
---- — The Hendricks County Flyer and local businesses encouraged the community to celebrate Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30. The idea is simple: making a purchase at a small business can make a huge difference in the community.
Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more customers. Since its inception, Small Business Saturday has become a global phenomenon, spreading to the UK, Australia, Israel, Canada, South Africa, and Asia.
Amanda Reinbold is a manager at Purse Strings, a small business in Metropolis Mall in Plainfield.
“We’ve been here since the mall opened in 2005,” Reinbold said. “When we first opened, we just had Vera Bradley. Now we carry Brighton and Pandora as well. That’s how we came up with Purse Strings.”
The shop is locally owned and operated.
“People often think since we carry things like Vera Bradley and Pandora that we are a corporate store,” she said. “But that’s not the case. We’ve had the same local owner since we opened.”
As a small store with limited resources, she said they try to get the word out about the store in several ways including traditional advertising in the newspaper.
She said their Black Friday crowd was great this year and that Small Business Saturday was looking good at mid-day.
According to small business owners polled earlier this month for the Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, of those small business owners incorporating Small Business Saturday into their holiday plans, 70 percent said Small Business Saturday would be helpful in attracting new customers.
Kim Richardson, manager of the Mayberry Café in Danville, said Small Business Saturday advertising is just one way the restaurant’s management has tried to promote themselves and all businesses on the downtown square.
“Local business keeps us going,” Richardson said. “We work with all the other merchants. We really help each other.”
She said the events held on the square are developed to bring people out to enjoy each other and maybe stay to shop.
“If they come out to see the window displays and walk around, they may stay to have dessert, stop and have a coffee, or even pick up some fudge,” Richardson said.
The seventh annual Christmas on the Square was held Friday. There were several activities held including the lighting of the square Christmas tree.
“We were super busy on Black Friday,” she said. “It was standing room only here.”
With five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas, many small business owners say they’ll be pulling out all of the stops to get customers into stores during the critical holiday shopping season.
Small Business Saturday has become an important fixture on the business calendar for merchants and an increasing number are investing more money and providing additional incentives to reach customers.