What started as an advertising campaign for American Express has quickly evolved into a community-based, grassroots-led effort for many cities and towns.
Started in 2010, Small Business Saturday – this year on Nov. 30 – was a much-needed response to a craze surrounding Black Friday and now Cyber Monday. According to a study from American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business, more than 100 million shoppers spent nearly $18 billion during Small Business Saturday in 2018.
In Noblesville, retailers also are seeing the day’s benefits in their brick-and-mortar stores. Stephen Fox, who co-owns Books & Brews at 13230 Harrell Pkwy. in Hamilton Town Center, with his wife, Jordan, said the annual event has a bigger impact than just one day of great sales.
“When you go to a local business, you’re supporting that person’s dream and passion. You’re helping them put food on the table for their family,” Fox said. “Between my wife and I, one of us is there every day of the week.”
Books & Brews opened in May as a family-friendly local brewery, and, believe it or not, it’s the only business in Hamilton Town Center to serve coffee. With more than 2,000 books on their shelves, a litany of puzzles and board games and an ever-expanding food and drink menu, getting customers to return to the shop isn’t difficult. However, Fox said he hopes Small Business Saturday will bring even more awareness.
“Almost every day we have a new customer tell us they had no idea we were here,” Fox said. “Unlike some larger companies, we don’t have the budget to do as much advertising. Small Business Saturday is kind of a time for some of the smaller guys to get a spotlight put on us and hopefully get our name out in front of those who maybe wouldn’t see us otherwise. It’s an opportunity for people to connect, whether you come with family or friends. It’s about engaging with the community, the people who work there or who own the shop.”
A Noblesville native, Fox said he loves having the opportunity to establish himself in the community.
“I grew up here,” he said. “So, for me, it’s awesome to serve the city and try to do something that adds value.”
Similar to past years, the Noblesville Chamber of Commerce will partner with Noblesville Main Street to promote Small Business Saturday. Volunteers will be under a tent on the downtown square on Small Business Saturday handing out “Shop Small” swag and guiding shoppers to small businesses both downtown and throughout Noblesville.
Annual Tree-Lighting Ceremony and Celebration
A day before Small Business Saturday, the chamber will sponsor Noblesville and Hamilton County’s annual tree-lighting ceremony and celebration, the community’s official kick off of the holiday season.
At 7 p.m. Nov. 29. hundreds will gather inside the Hamilton County Government and Judicial Center on the west side of the downtown square to hear a holiday story from Noblesville Mayor John Ditslear and enjoy live music and performances before making their way to the historic Santa House on the square’s south edge. There, attendees will sing together a final song and witness the lighting of the tree and square.
For more information, visit noblesvillechamber.com.