Local shops quiet on Black Friday in Carmel, Zionsville

Carmel’s Arts & Design District is quiet and uncongested on Nov. 28, Black Friday. (Photo by Adam Aasen)

Carmel’s Arts & Design District is quiet and uncongested on Nov. 28, Black Friday. (Photo by Adam Aasen)

The national Black Friday shopping day may have more people gearing up for online orders and trips to big-box stores versus local shopping. According to local business owners, when people shop locally during the holidays, everyone benefits.

“There’s a ton of studies out there that say more money stays in the local economy once you shop at a local store,” said Julie Johns-Cole, Zionsville Chamber of Commerce executive director. “Whether it’s through wages or donations or using other goods and services, study after study shows around 50 percent versus when you use a large corporate store, as low as 30 percent of every dollar you spend today (returns to) the local economy.”

But one look around Zionsville or Carmel’s downtown areas shows that people have either stayed inside to shop online or headed to larger shopping areas like Castleton and Keystone malls today.

Earlier this month, Zionsville Town Manager Ed Mitro told Current that he shops locally whenever possible.

“I go into the shop because I get to talk to the local merchants and you develop a rapport with them. It’s important,” he said. “I know online shopping is big, but it’s very impersonal and I think people like that contact.”

When new or growing businesses see the success of local shops, more money stays in the community.

“As we grow, we should attract local entrepreneurs who both live in and do business in our community,” said Luci Snyder, Carmel Economic Development Commission president to Current reporter James Feichnter. “(It’s) a self-generating success. If our restaurants thrive, then we attract more businesses and we have more choices.”

Several local business in Carmel and Zionsville are offering special Black Friday deals in hopes of attracting customers, however, and many are participating in “Small Business Saturday” this weekend.

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