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Indiana District Office  

u s small business administration

Small Business Saturday Guest Column


From the Desk of Great Lakes Regional Administrator Geri Aglipay

Small Business Saturday – A Day to Support Local Economies


BY: SBA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Geri Aglipay

This year, America celebrates Small Business Saturday November 26. At a time when billions are spent in box stores and online megaretailers, Small Business Saturday is a chance to “share the wealth” on Main Streets and mom-and-pop shops that make our communities strong. It’s in that spirit that I urge you to join the SBA in putting small businesses at the top of your ‘list.’  The nationwide Shop Small Map makes it easier than ever to find participating small businesses.

SBA is proud to co-sponsor Small Business Saturday alongside American Express. It’s a good fit for our little federal agency with a big mission. On average, over 70% of small businesses have 10 employees and less, including self-employed. Shopping small and local at woman-owned cafés, Black-owned retail shops, Asian American-owned hair salons, Hispanic hardware stores, and veteran-owned pet stores reinvests your spending back into your own communities,

The SBA is more of a household name than ever thanks to pandemic relief programs like COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loans, the Paycheck Protection Program, and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, which gave small businesses of every stripe the tools they desperately needed to endure the pandemic’s impact. However, it’s SBA’s legacy products and programs that have made the SBA (the only cabinet-level federal agency devoted solely to small business) the champion of entrepreneurs for 70 years.

Programs aimed directly at small businesses connect SBA-backed community partners such as Small Business Development Centers, to effectively deliver small businesses the help they need during our economic recovery. Another popular program, T.H.R.I.V.E., is our executive-level training series – like a free, mini-MBA that is accelerates the growth of high-potential small businesses across the United States.

Like the SBA, Small Business Saturday isn’t just about purchasing power, but the also the resource power of SBA to support small businesses owners in every way that we can, For information about SBA programs and services, visit https://www.sba.gov.


How You Can Participate 

Illustration of a main street with small businesses, shop small logo, SBA logo and text, Small Business Saturday, November 26, 2022.


SBA Indiana #ShopSmall Walking Tour 

Highlights from our Fountain Square #ShopSmall walking tour Nov 16 promoting Small Business Saturday


Indianapolis’ Fletcher Place and Fountain Square communities are flourishing for small business, so Great Lakes Regional Administrator Geri Aglipay joined Indiana District Director Stacey Poynter for a Small Business Saturday #ShopSmall Walking Tour with leader representatives Congressional offices, Governor Holcomb’s Office of Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity, and Small Business Development Center.  The tour kicked off at Bovaconti Coffee in the revitalized Fountain Square area and featured Dan Drexler, Regional Director of SBA Resource Partner Indiana Small Business Development Center’s Central Indiana office.  The Bovaconti’s owner Justin Jones remarked that support advice from the SBA’s resource partner the Central Indiana SBDC and SBA COVID Relief funding not only helped him survive the pandemic, but also now helps him thrive during recovery.


Left picture, Back row l-r:  Anthony Phillips II, State of Indiana Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Opportunity; Justin Jones, Bovaconti Coffee; Stacey Poynter, SBA Indiana ; Dan Drexler, Central Indiana SBDC. Front row l-r: Stacia Murphy, Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce; Geri Aglipay, SBA Great Lakes Region; Angela Blackman, Central Indiana SBDC; Jessica Garcia, Office of U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (IN D-7); Sharon Harvey, SBA Indiana)

Right picture:  Central Indiana SBDC Regional Director and #ShopSmall Walking Tour Guide Dan Drexler tells tour participants about the revitalization of Fountain Square.


Serial entrepreneur Josh Baker (center speaking next to the pole) co-owns three local businesses;  HiFi Indy, a live-entertainment space featuring indoor & outdoor venues; entertainment promotion companies MOKB and Do317 Media; and Easy Rider, an American-style diner situated next door Hi-Fi.  Josh calls SBA COVID resources the lifeline that kept his small businesses alive, and was an early recipient of SVOG in Indiana as well as PPP & COVID EIDL.  


Patrick Burch (in blue sweatshirt) talks about his vintage record shop Square Cat Vinyl and how SBA-backed funding, COVID relief funding and assistance from the Central Indiana SBDC positively impacted the growth of his small business ventures.



Patrick also co-owns the neighboring Snakeroot Botanicals with his wife Laura (behind counter).



Zodiac Vintage is a high-end vintage retail shop and owner Jess Parrotte (left, black jacket) says SBA resource partner counselors helped her take her vintage dream from a part-time pop-up to a full time retail brick & mortar.  Supporting small business via retail therapy on the right are (l-r):  SBA Indiana Lead OMS Sharon Harvey, Great Lakes Regional Administrator Geri Aglipay, Office of U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (IN D-7) Constituent Liaison Jessica Garcia and Indiana SBDC Lead Center Small Business Program Manager Gabbi Wilcox.


SBA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Geri Aglipay chats with The Pickled Pedaler owner Nicole Eliason about the challenges of owning a niche small business and working with the Indiana District Office for SBA 504 financing for growth, before participants hopped on one of her multi-person electric bikes to pedal back to Fletcher Place.

The last stop on the SBA Indiana Small Business Saturday #ShopSmall Walking Tour was Easy Rider, a new restaurant co-owned by Josh Baker who also owns Hi-Fi Indy next door.  Easy Rider opened it’s doors on Fountain Square Oct. 1.


Left:  Walking tour participants sit down for a delicious lunch at Easy Rider, which opened Oct 1 on Fountain Square.  Right:  Co-owner Josh Baker and Easy Rider Chef Ricky Martinez

For more information on how the SBA Indiana District Office and our resource partners, services and products can help your #smallbiz start, grow, build, expand, recover and thrive, check out  Indiana | U.S. Small Business Administration (sba.gov).  


Upcoming Small Business Workshops

Veteran and Military Spouse Virtual Roundtable

Cup of Joe Webinar

Nov. 29, 3 pm ET

Register now

Merch Ideas for Native American Artists and Craftspeople Virtual Panel

USTPO webinar


Dec. 8, 2pm ET

Register Now

How to Write a Business Plan Webinar

December is National Write a Business Plan Month


 Dec. 20, 4:30 pm ET

Register now

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