INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Retailers are grappling for consumers to spend money during the holiday shopping season. But small businesses have to work even harder to get business, and they only have three weeks left to do it.
Artifacts has survived 35 years in Broad Ripple Village.
"I'm second generation in this business. My mother started it. And she's always just been a very careful decision maker," says store owner Jeannie Kaplan.
Unique merchandise like Christmas ornaments made in the U.S. — some made in Indiana — helps bring customers to her store, says Velasco.
"It's harder to find. We have to work hard to find it," says Velasco.
Handmade, unusual items are often selling on the Internet now, or showing up in the big box stores too, says Jennifer Velasco, owner of the Bungalo in Broad Ripple, just a block down from Artifacts.
"They'll still sell to us but it's not unique anymore, because they can find it other places," says Velasco.
Velasco is a 20-year veteran of Broad Ripple retail.
"It's probably tougher than it has ever been," she says.
Competition is not only fierce, but small businesses in areas like Broad Ripple have one other big problem — parking.
"We really feel at a disadvantage versus a mall that offers free parking, says Kaplan.
Street parking can be tough to find and the new parking meters installed outside of stores in Broad Ripple can be confusing. It's another buyer objection that small business has to overcome. They try to overcome it with personal service, says Velasco.
"We do a lot of free gift wrapping and special ordering things for people if we know it's something that they want," she says.
They do it because December is retail season.
"I think we know our customers. We actually have some customers that have been coming here for years and years and years. We know their family," says Kaplan.
A new parking garage being built in Broad Ripple will help make it easier for shoppers. But it won't be ready for this year's shopping season. Small Business Saturday, held over Thanksgiving weekend, was good nationally and those we spoke with in Broad Ripple say it was good for them too. But they are quick to point out, one day does not a season make.
In court documents filed Monday afternoon, 20-year-old Jacob McDaniel was officially charged with reckless homicide and pointing a firearm in the shooting death of a Noblesville teen.
Sunday night, Johnson County officers were called to a Whiteland home, when a woman called to say she was being attacked by her 18-year-old grandson.
Work began in the old Indianapolis City Hall on Monday morning.