Local shops in Broad Ripple see successful turnout on Small Business Saturday

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BROAD RIPPLE, Ind. – Broad Ripple small businesses are reporting a successful day after many people shopped local on Small Business Saturday.

The American Express Shop Small Impact Study found many business owners said this year’s Small Business Saturday would be more critical than ever.

It also found “46% of small business owners are counting on above average holiday sales to stay in business in 2021.”

Jeanne Kaplan owns Artifacts Gallery in Broad Ripple. She is a second generation store owner who took over in 2017 for her mother, who opened the store in 1977.

“It’s different than past years but considering the situation, I’d say it was very successful,” said Kaplan of this year’s Small Business Saturday.

“The community has really supported all of the small businesses,” she said.

She said customers were patient and understanding that due to social distancing and precautions taken by the store, things may not be as quick.

“They understood that they’d have to wait. I think everything considering went really smoothly. People have made an extra effort to say ‘I’m shopping here. I want to get something from you because I want you to be here next year.’”

Broad Ripple apparel store The Shop also reported a busy day and thanked their customers on Twitter for their support.

Kaplan said she is grateful for how people supported local on Saturday but also echoed the findings from the American Express Shop Small Study. She said the holiday shopping season will be critical for her employees and for the future of Artifacts Gallery.

“I would say that the next four weeks are crucial to how things are gonna play out, and how this year has gone, we’ve definitely seen a decrease,” explained Kaplan. “There’s no way about going around that. We were completely closed for an extended period of time. We’ve been on limited hours.

“The next four weeks are just make or break. I guess there’s just no other way to put it,” she said.

Like many other stores in Indianapolis, Kaplan said Artifacts Gallery will continue welcoming their customers while adhering to social distancing guidelines and other measures to keep everyone safe.

“We had an air sanitizing system installed in the ceiling, and it’s made by a local Indiana company, and the expense was covered by a grant from the Indiana Chamber of Commerce,” said Kaplan.

“The air is being sanitized, and it’s being moved about in the space, so I feel like that’s such a great thing that we just feel really good about providing a safe space for customers to shop and for our staff to work.”

She hopes people feel encouraged to continue supporting local businesses throughout the holiday shopping season.

“It keeps the money in the community and paying all our employees, and it makes a difference for the community,” she said.

“We wanted to come and support everybody. It’s been such a hard year for everyone, especially small business owners,” said Indianapolis resident Virginia Goebes.

Goebes said her family was proud to support local on Small Business Saturday.

“We do this every year, and we just totally enjoy doing it and supporting other people in our community,” she said.

Goebes said her family visited local businesses in Broad Ripple and on Massachusetts Avenue in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday. She added that stores were following social distancing guidelines and working to keep shoppers safe.

“Wear your mask, social distance. That’s very important. I’m a nurse. It’s very, very important to do that.”

Goebes hopes this holiday season brings success for Indy’s small businesses.

“Get out and go and support them. I think everybody’s in this together, and we want to go out and show our support, and people are doing what they need to do,” she said.

According to data from the Small Business Administration, small businesses made up 99% of businesses in the U.S. in 2018 and accounted for 47.5% of employees in the private workforce.

“Over 98% of the businesses in the State of Indiana are considered small businesses, and they employ over 50% of Indiana residents,” said Laura Schnafsnitz, public affairs specialist for the U.S. SBA Indiana District Office.

If you are interested in supporting a small business in Indiana, you can visit the state’s website and find a store near you by searching an address on the map.

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