Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 28, 2012

Small Business Saturday success

U.S. consumers spent $5.5 billion with independent merchants.

Last weekend, wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, more U.S. shoppers than ever patronized local independent businesses during Small Business Saturday.

One hundred businesses in Kokomo celebrated the event, which was created by American Express three years ago to help small businesses. Cardholders who made purchases with participating local businesses received a $25 rebate from American Express.

Consumer awareness of the shopping event jumped from 34 percent to 67 percent two weeks ago, according to a study released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express. Of those aware, the study said 47 percent shopped on Small Business Saturday. Consumers aware of the event spent a reported $5.5 million with independent merchants.

Monty Henderson, business adviser at the Small Business Development Center, said big-box stores have an advantage in the holiday shopping rush because they have the deep pockets for advertising.

“Our small business folks don’t have the budget to make that kind of splash, so it’s nice to have that effort going on,” he said.

Henderson said he saw a definite uptick in local businesses participating in Small Business Saturday, and believes the event was well-received by Kokomo shoppers.

Sharon Murff, spokeswoman for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Indiana District Office, said the event is bigger than ever in Indiana, in part because businesses began promoting earlier.

“People were embracing it more,” she said. “A lot of it has to do with the economy. People are realizing that small business is the backbone for America.”

Tashia Johnson-St. Clair, owner of Sweet Poppins popcorn shop, said she’s been involved with Small Business Saturday for three years. She said the day didn’t bring much more business than usual, but has noticed customers focusing more on local businesses in recent years, especially for gifts.  

Kelly Herr, the owner of new women’s shop Herr Boutique, said many customers came in on Saturday.

“I saw an increase in customers that day who said they specifically came out for Small Business Saturday and were trying to support us,” she said. “It really helps us stay in business.”

Deborah Flowers, who runs Front Porch Pretzels in Kokomo with her husband, said they weren’t open on Saturday to celebrate the event, but encouraged customers to patronize other local businesses.

“I think people really are starting to realize that their patronage of places makes a huge difference in whether a place stays or goes,” she said.

Megan Graham is the Kokomo Tribune business reporter. She can be reached by phone at 765-454-8570 or by email at megan.graham@kokomotribune.com.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Bona Vista to build new $1.23 million housing development Bona Vista Programs has announced it plans to build a new $1.23 million housing development in downtown Kokomo to accommodate people with disabilities. The new 6,500-square-foot housing unit called Elmwood Trails will be located at 1101 N. Buckeye St

    July 24, 2014

  • Peru dam Who should fix the dams? PERU — Who has jurisdiction over six dams located in the Hidden Hills housing addition just north of Peru, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources or the people who own the land?It’s a question with a lot riding on it — more than $1.5 million, in

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Burlington woman charged in May fatal crash A 26-year-old Burlington woman is being accused of driving drunk causing the death of a Frankfort man in a May 2 accident near the Howard-Tipton county line. Howard County sheriff deputies served a warrant on Casie E. Johnson on Wednesday charging he

    July 24, 2014

  • Lake Co. judge strikes down Indiana right-to-work INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Lake County judge struck down Indiana's right-to-work ban on certain union fees in a second legal blow to the contentious law passed in 2012. Lake County Circuit Court Judge George Paras determined the law violates the state co

    July 24, 2014

  • Kokomo man charged with sexual misconduct with a minor Kokomo police arrested a 20-year-old man Tuesday afternoon on a warrant charging him with sexual misconduct with a minor involving a 14-year-old girl.Officers arrested Malachi Ely at 4:38 p.m. at his residence in the 500 block of South Goyer Road on

    July 24, 2014

  • Howard County rejected for state preschool pilot Howard County is not among the five counties selected for Indiana’s new preschool voucher pilot.Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday that Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties will roll out the program in 2015. Eighteen counties, includi

    July 24, 2014

  • Kokomo Airport runway extension nearing completion After more than a decade of waiting, a runway extension project that will allow the Kokomo Municipal Airport to attract new business will soon be prepared for takeoff.The project, which will extend the airport’s main runway from 5,200 feet to 6,000 f

    July 24, 2014

  • NWS KT 072314 Serena Youth Center pic Serena Youth Center to offer safe haven for young women

    Young women in Kokomo in need of security and additional support will soon have a new place to call home as plans move forward to open the Serena Youth Center. On Tuesday, Coordinated Assistance Ministries Inc. closed on a property for the youth cent

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Residents organize outreach for fire victims Josh and Courtney Justice lost everything they owned Tuesday afternoon after a fire ravaged their home in Indian Heights. The community has been reaching out to help replace some of what was destroyed. Just hours after the blaze displaced the Justice

    July 23, 2014

  • Man jailed on sex charge Kokomo police arrested a 20-year-old man Tuesday afternoon on a warrant charging him with sexual misconduct with a minor involving a 14-year-old. Officers arrested Malachi Ely at 4:38 p.m. at his residence in the 500 block of South Goyer Road on the

    July 23, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.