Per usual, the fifth annual Shop Fishers will encourage residents to support local business for Small Business Saturday, but the Nov. 24 event also will have some new offerings.
For the first time, select vendors will participate in Shop Fishers at the Winter Farmers Market. The market will offer $5 in market bucks to the first 50 shoppers.
“We have a wide variety of businesses participating, from boutiques and restaurants to fitness centers, vet clinics, hardware stores and even our Fishers Farmers Market,” said Stephanie Perry, assistant director of public relations for the City of Fishers. “(The farmers market) is such a natural fit. Our farmers market is a celebration of our local farmers and small businesses, and they should be included in this.”
Although it’s a city initiative, participating businesses reap benefits from the annual shopping event.
Carlene Clark, store manager at Grapevine Cottage in Fishers, has participated in Small Business Saturday since American Express launched the initiative in 2010. The nationwide event occurs on the Saturday after Thanksgiving as a counterpart to Black Friday. It encourages people to shop local small businesses instead of big box stores.
Clark recalled that American Express used to offer $10 back on a purchase made at a small business if paid for by the AmEx card. Although the offer has been discontinued, Clark said the Grapevine Cottage offers specials and discounts on Small Business Saturday to draw customers.
“We had a lot of people coming in last year,” she said. “The whole momentum is starting to catch on with Shop Small, and people are more conscious about small business and wanting to go support them.”
Clark said although Grapevine Cottage doesn’t typically see a sales increase on Small Business Saturday, it does see an increase in customer traffic. Last year, between 20 and 25 new customers shopped at Grapevine Cottage because of Small Business Saturday and Shop Fishers exposure.
“It wasn’t necessarily in dollars, but there was an increase in traffic and new people coming in to see us because of the exposure,” Clark said. “I think it really helps drive business to the smaller businesses. The awareness is out there.”
Clark said the increased traffic leads to returning customers throughout the year.
“Most people are impressed with our selection and what we do to market our wines,” she said. “Even if they don’t drink wine, they probably know somebody who does.”
Shop Fishers features more than 40 small businesses offering discounts or promotions throughout the city. Some include 20 percent off cheeses at Grapevine Cottage; no joining fee at the Fishers YMCA from Nov. 23 to Nov. 25; 20 percent off boarding, grooming or day care services at PetSuites Resort and Spa if booked before Dec. 1; and 20 percent off at Roman and Leo.
“This event is first and foremost for our small businesses, and we want to support them and showcase to our residents the great variety and exciting local opportunities there are here in Fishers,” Perry said.
For a full list of Shop Fishers promotions, visit fishers.in.us/shopfishers.
Get your gifts wrapped
This year, Shop Fishers will, for the first time, provide a few shopping day perks t Fishers City Hall, 1 Municipal Dr.
Fishers Arts Council will offer free gift wrapping inside City Hall from noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 24. Photography by SunRai Sims will be on display for residents to observe while they wait in line to have their gifts wrap. Approximately 10 local artisans also will be present to display their work, including photographers, painters, visual artists and more.
In addition to the artwork, Fishers Music Works will perform live music from noon to 5 p.m. at City Hall.
“City hall has never been activated as part of the event, and it’s going to be essentially a pop-up lounge for shoppers to come relax and listen to music in between their shopping and dining adventures,” said Stephanie Perry, assistant director of public relations for the City of Fishers.