Support Local Businesses Old & New at the Popular Shop Fishers Summer Series Event
Writer / Renee Larr
Photographer / Amy Payne
The Shop Fishers: Summer Series event started two years ago in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdowns of local businesses. City leaders created the event to boost the local economy and support small businesses in Fishers. The citywide celebration is back July 16 through 23, and offers shoppers discounts and promotions at their favorite local boutiques, restaurants, gyms, spas and online retailers.
“The last few years have been especially tough on local businesses,” says Kara Hall, marketing and public relations manager for the City of Fishers. “Entrepreneurship is a huge, community-wide focus. This initiative really rallies behind our local entrepreneurs and directly affects the local economy.”
Last year more than 70 homegrown retailers participated, highlighting Fishers’ diverse retail sector. This year city leaders hope to increase the number of businesses joining the event. The companies are spread out through the growing areas of Fishers including Saxony, the Nickel Plate District and west Fishers.
“This year we’re offering some local Etsy shops to Fishers, so that’s a new and unique component this year,” Hall says. “It’s also a great way to discover some of the businesses in the areas of Fishers you don’t normally get to visit.”
The summer series is offered as a sister event to Small Business Saturday in November. Sales in July are typically slower for local businesses, as many families are traveling for one last summer getaway before returning to school in August. Hall says the event is meant as a last blast for summer. Shoppers can take advantage of back-to-school deals and dining on patios before the fall weather arrives.
Since its inception, boys boutique Roman & Leo has participated in the event. Owner Angela Castelli says she participates year after year because she feels fortunate to have her small business in a community that promotes entrepreneurship and innovation. She says she’s in a group of boutique owners across the country, and many do not feel the same level of support from their community that she receives from Fishers.
“We love participating in Shop Fishers each year because as a proud 14-year resident of Fishers, we love our community and couldn’t imagine raising our family or building our business anywhere else,” Castelli says. “It’s also a fun way for the community to learn about and support locally owned businesses like restaurants, service providers and shops, all in the same week. The city does a wonderful job of educating and promoting local businesses to our community.”
Roman & Leo is offering 20% off on all shorts to help kick off summer, and help keep boys cool well into fall weather.
The event also attracts first-time participants like Bay Area Bistro. Owner Anne Dinkel hopes to boost her sales after struggling with her brick-and-mortar location during the shutdowns of 2020.
“I had to close down my storefront in 2020, and am now focused on my catering and participating in the Fishers Farmers Market each Saturday,” Dinkel says. “I am at the market each Saturday selling traditional Filipino lumpia and pancit. I’m really hoping participating in these types of events introduces more local Fishers residents to Filipino food.”
Discounts and promotions vary by business. Some offer a free gift with a purchase, a percentage off your total, and even special events throughout the week. Hall says it’s a diverse way to shop locally and save money. She says a ton of new businesses have opened in the last few years, and this event is a great way to support your tried-and-true favorites while also finding new businesses to love.
“At the end of this event each year, we survey to see what worked, and make changes for the following year,” Hall says. “Last year we heard that one of our local businesses had record-high sales during this initiative.”
Residents are encouraged to follow the City of Fishers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for deals and giveaways during the week.
“Many of our participating businesses will donate items for us to give away, and those are always popular with our shoppers,” Hall says. “It’s a great way to increase their exposure within the community.”
Shopping local offers residents a personal touch from smaller businesses, as opposed to large corporations. The items sold are often unique and exclusive to that small business. It also reduces environmental impact by reducing travel. Lastly, it ensures the money spent at local businesses stays in the local community.
For a complete list of participants, go to thisisfishers.com/shop-fishers.