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Several shops on Mass Ave. offer Small Business Saturday deals

Small Business Saturday on Mass Ave.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Now that the Black Friday lines have died down at big box stores across the country, many are hoping to shop local for Small Business Saturday.

Retailers citywide offered different discounts and incentives for the shopping day. About a dozen stores on Massachusetts Avenue organized a neighborhood event offering “swag bags” to the first 10 customers to visit select stores.

The bags offered different samples, merchandise, and coupons to the stores in the downtown entertainment district. Several stores also offered discounts or tastings to entice customers to come in.

Businesses like Silver in the City had a line of people waiting for doors to open at 9 a.m. The shop has been selling jewelry and other housewares on Mass Ave. for about 20 years.

Owner Kristin Kohn says Small Business Saturday is often her best sales day of the year.

“Supporting small local businesses really gives back to the local economy,” Kohn said. “It’s really nice for us to have such a big day in November following Thanksgiving. Our community just really shows up.”

Across the street, Kim Pauszek, owner of Francis and Fern, a clothing boutique, says it takes some preparation to welcome so many customers, many of whom are stopping in for the first time.

“We just make sure the store is full and ready for all our customers,” Pauszek said. “I mean, this is basically like the Super Bowl for us.”

American Express founded Small Business Saturday in 2010 as a way to promote shopping locally after many took to malls for Black Friday.

The bank reported that shoppers spent about $17.9 billion in 2022 at small businesses across the U.S.

President of the Mass Ave Cultural Arts District, Meg Storrow, says it’s important to have an organized effort for days like this.

“Merchants here on Mass Ave. are small entrepreneurs,” Storrow said. “They don’t have a mall structure behind them. So, it’s really important that there’s group marketing efforts [and] there’s support for promotions.”

Many shoppers, like Michelle Gassyt, make a point to shop local for the holidays. She moved to the neighborhood 30 years ago.

“Mass Ave. is kind of where I grew up in Indianapolis, and watching the changes has been phenomenal,” Gassyt said. “This is my community. These are my neighbors, my friends. I think it’s really important to shop small. It stays within the community, helps us grow, helps the city.”

To see a complete list of participating businesses on Mass Ave. and their deals, visit the district’s social media.