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Stay local, shop small, save big on Small Business Saturday

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Local merchants across Central Indiana celebrated “Small Business Saturday” with steep discounts and creative shopping incentives.

The community-focused counterpart to mass retailer-dominated Black Friday was created in 2010 to support smaller, independent businesses during the holiday shopping season.

Hundreds of Hoosier-owned mom-and-pop shops spent the eighth annual Small Business Saturday enticing customers with one-day discounts, homemade products, unique shopping experiences and the opportunity to give back to the community by supporting local stores, restaurants, salons, gyms and other businesses.

Massachusetts Avenue retailers in downtown Indianapolis are handing out more than 250 “swag bags” with discounts and giveaway items totaling more than $5,000.

Carmel businesses welcomed shoppers with a student-painted “Winter Wonderland” at the City Center and handed out offers from the Arts and Design District.

The Fortville McCordsville Chamber of Commerce created a scavenger hunt at local shops and restaurants using their town mascot. Shoppers and diners who spot at least 10 of the pink elephants hidden across town are entered into a drawing for a grand prize basket.

More than a dozen Noblesville businesses are entering shoppers in a $100 cash prize drawing. Customers will be entered in the raffle for every purchase made.

Fishers retailers are handing out reusable shopping bags and participating in a “Shop Fishers Prize Pack” drawing. Shoppers can qualify to win by sharing a photo of themselves using the #ShopFishers hashtag.

“Owning and running a small business really requires wearing a lot of hats,” explained Melanie Stoddard, the owner of Blush Salon Boutique in downtown Fishers. “But we do it because we’re passionate about the services and the products that we offer.”

Her shop features pieces handpicked from Etsy, including jewelry and accessories crafted by artists across Indiana. Each trinket comes with a story, she said, and represents her own support of local craftsmanship.

“We’re a small business supporting other small businesses,” Stoddard told 24-Hour News 8.

The owners of Revival Fitness, another Fishers business encouraging residents to shop local, also discussed the importance of hometown pride in homegrown entrepreneurs.

“We started this gym down the street from our home because this is also something that we wanted in our community,” said Missy McDowell, who co-owns the crossfit gym with her husband. “What people get when they come here is a sense of community.”