Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 22, 2012

Small businesses looking to Saturday

Kokomo officials encouraging people to shop local for the holidays.

When Black Friday crowds dwindle Saturday at Kokomo’s largest retail stores, Shawn Hilton hopes his comic book business picks up.

Hilton is among 100 local businesses looking to see increased foot traffic and sales during this year’s Small Business Saturday.

“We’re looking for that initial big pop in sales, but I also would like to get four or five new customers out of it,” said Hilton, who owns Comics Cubed in downtown Kokomo.

American Express created the day three years ago, it says, to help small businesses struggling during the recession, the Associated Press reported.

The credit and charge card company encourages cardholders, who have registered in advance online, to make purchases with their cards at a participating business. In exchange, the cardholder will receive a $25 rebate paid for by American Express.

“The small business situation has improved since this program started,” Hilton said.

For the past two years, Hilton said he’s seen a small uptick in sales on Small Business Saturday.

But even a small bump in revenue is appreciated during a weekend when locally owned shops used to be all but forgotten, Hilton said.

Word is spreading about the event.

Tom Tolen, community planner for the city of Kokomo, said last year he had no idea what Small Business Saturday even was.

“But I see it everywhere now,” he said. “There’s a lot of talk about it.”

More businesses than ever are taking part in it.

Tolen said this year’s merchants include Sound of Music, Goblin Games, City Tire, Sunburst Day Spa, Top of the Line Detail and Howard County’s YMCA, among others.

“I think it’s a movement that will continue to grow,” he said.

Hilton said social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have facilitated the movement. He said he sees more messages on those sites every day promoting local shops and businesses.

And American Express’ advertising campaign for the event hasn’t hurt.

It’s the kind of advertising small businesses could never afford on their own, Hilton said.

The comic book store owner is expecting even better sales this year than he had last year on Thanksgiving weekend.

“I wouldn’t say it’s the perfect storm, but we’ve got a lot of variables in our favor,” he said.

Kokomo had just a little bit of snow a few weeks ago, and Hilton said he’s hoping that put local residents in the holiday spirit.

And with Black Friday sales starting earlier than ever this year, Hilton thinks devoted shoppers will finish at the larger stores sooner and have more time to peruse local shops.

Hilton said everyone can help with Small Business Saturday, even those who refuse to shop on one of the busiest holiday shopping weekends of the year.

Just recommending a favorite small business to friends and family members can help out shops where every customer counts, Hilton said.

Mayor Greg Goodnight said supporting the local businesses will give the community a boost.

“Our small businesses are the lifeblood of our community,” he said. “They create jobs, preserve neighborhoods and fuel the local economy.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Prescription drug probe targeting area clinics Early this morning numerous search warrants were served on pain clinics in several counties including Howard County as part of an long-term prescription drug investigation. The probe conducted by the Hamilton/Boone County Drug Task Force and the Drug

    July 25, 2014

  • Escapee Hunt for escaped inmate focuses on Carroll County fields

    CAMDEN — The inmate who escaped from the Logansport State Hospital is believed to have been seen near 750 North and 100 East in Carroll County, a member of the Carroll County Sheriff's Department says.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Airshow Practice 05 Eyes to the sky Twenty-four-year-old Kevin Coleman is one of the youngest air show stars in the world.The Louisiana man is a second generation pilot and second generation air show performer. As a kid, he watched as his dad and then his brother flew through the skies

    July 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • Four arrested on meth-related charges Howard County sheriff deputies arrested four people on numerous charges after deputies went to a home west of Kokomo to serve a warrant late Thursday. Deputies went to the home located at 7610 W. 220 South shortly after 11 p.m. in search of a man wan

    July 25, 2014

  • Feds plan review over Medicaid backlog INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Federal officials are reviewing Indiana’s procedures for enrolling residents in Medicaid after finding the state had 80,000 low-income residents awaiting approval in May.Cindy Mann, director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicai

    July 25, 2014

  • Bona Vista to build new $1.23 million housing development Bona Vista Programs has announced 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. an

    July 25, 2014

  • Burlington woman charged in May fatal crash Police arrested a 26-year-old Burlington woman Wednesday who is accused of causing a fatal crash while driving drunk.Howard County sheriff deputies served a warrant on Casie E. Johnson charging her with a B felony causing death while operating a vehi

    July 25, 2014

  • Former county official pleads guilty to conversion One of two former county officials charged with theft and official misconduct was sentenced last week to a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges. Darrell Reed, 52, pleaded guilty to two Class A misdemeanor conversio

    July 24, 2014

  • NWS - KT072514 Kokomo School Board - pic Blueprints found during demolition aid Central Middle School remodel

    When workers began the tear down for renovations to the Central Middle School auditorium, they stumbled upon something very important and helpful sifting through the century-old material. Tucked away inside the structure were the original blueprints,

    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

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase
Parade
Magazine

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.
Obituaries