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‘Gr8 Comeback’: Town of Speedway spotlights small businesses

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (WISH) — When May arrives, no one in Indiana is arguably more excited than the people of Speedway.

The town anxiously awaits the return of fans at the Indianapolis 500 and, for small businesses, it’s the return of a special community event.

More than 30 businesses on Friday will participate in this year’s Pop-Up on Main Street. Vendors will fill the parking lot in front of B. Erin Designs to encourage visitors to “support local.”

Connie Harris, executive director of the Speedway Chamber of Commerce, says, after a tough year of COVID-19 restrictions, she’s excited not only for the business owners but for shoppers.

“We need it for our mental health,” she said. “We need to get out and spend some money so we feel like normal again. Have dinner, a couple drinks and then pop down here and visit some of the vendors.”

Brooke Minnix, owner of B. Erin designs, says she’s proud to be this year’s host. “Small businesses are what thrive in the community,” she said. “They’re what bring the community together.”

Minnix grew up in Speedway. She says she felt guilty when her home décor and gift boutique thrived during the pandemic while others struggled or shut down. However, with her shop supporting other local crafters and artists, she won’t hesitate to promote their businesses to customers.

As they team up for the pop-up, Harris and Minnix hoped the event is the start of bringing the spirit and the experience of the Indianapolis 500 back to the town of Speedway.

“Main Street is going to be hopping,” Minnix said. “We have the Pop-Up going on here with 35 to 40 vendors. It’s just going to be a good time.”

The pop-up event will include giveaways in a “Small Business Lottery” and the first Food Truck Friday of the season at Daredevil Brewing Company.