By Rob Gaston, November 26th, 2014

2015 Update: INgredients, mentioned below, is now closed. Just another reminder of how important it is to support local food and small businesses, to reinforce your neighborhood economy. Other options now available in Indianapolis include Wildwood Market, R2GO, as well as the established Goose the Market. Plus, there are more handcrafted and artisan pop up markets all the time!

In addition to your traditional holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, along with their respective “eves”, we also know about all the retail holidays such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and even Giving Tuesday to absolve your conscience after spending all that money on yourself. But have you heard of Small Business Saturday? American Express started the promotion in 2010, offering incentives and rebates to customers who shop at small businesses the day after Black Friday. Unfortunately, according to this Bloomberg Business Week article, the actual impact on small businesses appears negligible, at least in some areas. We hope you shop local for some of your holiday gifts, but if you aren’t convinced, check out this graphic on why it’s something to consider.

Why Buy Local

Now if you have an American Express card and want to see which businesses are participating and what benefits you can get, check out the Small Business Saturday website. If you aren’t a cardholder and just want to support small Indiana businesses, here are some suggestions on where you can find some great gifts or stocking stuffers and shop local at the same time.

Indiana Artisan Marketplace: If you are near Fort Wayne, check out this great one stop shop of all kinds of Indiana original artwork and handcrafted foods! At events like these, Artisans usually provide samples of their product, allowing you the opportunity to find a tasty treat or handcrafted good for anyone on your list. If you can’t make it to the marketplace, click on the link above and explore the website, where you can find contact information for all of the artisans.

Homespun Handmade: This may be the ultimate “support local” shopping stop. Not only is this a small business, but the wares are from local artists, designers, and food producers. Find some of our Dig IN friends like Sage’s Simple Syrups, Scratchtruck’s Bacon Marmalade, and Newfangled Confections Frittle.

Ingredients: (now closed) If you haven’t been, check out this farm to fork market on 71st Street just off Binford Boulevard on the northeast side. Find frozen meats  and cheeses from around the state, vegetables in season, and other Indiana produced packaged foods. The store focuses on organic and healthy options, so pick up some other groceries while there, and have a bite from their deli for that appetite you’ve worked up while shopping.

Yelp’s Holiday Bazaar: While it’s not on Small Business Saturday, this event definitely has a great collection of local products that you can purchase for your loved ones, or maybe even treat yourself to a gift or two! This event has become quite popular, so plan on having a great time and leave plenty of browsing time.