Our town. Our news. Our businesses. Our stories in our own words. The crossroads of America is now the birthplace of the online crossroads of small business and the local community: the Fight for Small Initiative.

Designed to bridge the gap between small businesses and the Web — the online Main Street — the Fight for Small Initiative creates a space for local small businesses to engage in a dialogue not only with each other, but also with customers from around the Indianapolis area. This online conversation-centric platform hands the microphone directly to the local community, affording individuals the opportunity both to talk to local business owners and promote their favorite only-in-Indy small businesses.
Through this initiative, users will be able to blog about any range of topics that tickles their fancy — from extolling the virtues of the Vanilla Bean Bakery’s s’more cupcakes to counting down the best hole-in-the-wall restaurants on Mass Ave. Are you obsessed with that new froyo joint in Fountain Square — Cultured Swirl? Have you recently stretched halfway to nirvana at a yoga studio in Broad Ripple? We want to hear about it! Did you find a Grumpy-Cat-ified Game of Thrones meme on Tumblr?! Yeah, you can keep that one to yourself.
Here’s where the Fight for Small initiative departs from the average blog-chat-room formula: on this site, writers and amateur bloggers contributing content can get “paid” to blog about it.
While the majority of news sites and blog platforms are supported by cash-for-ads, the Fight for Small Initiative operates by gift card exchange. In other words, small businesses trade gift cards in exchange for exposure.
For example, Fred of Fred’s Fish Fry can offer gift cards to his restaurant in the rewards catalogue of the Fight for Small initiative website in exchange for the placement of Fred’s Fish Fry ads throughout the website. Local bloggers and amateur writers, then, can “earn” those gift cards to Fred’s Fish Fry by producing strong content.
The stronger the contributor’s content is, the more Web traffic the post receives; the more popular the post is, the more rewards — gift cards — the contributor is eligible to earn. Local contributors have the opportunity to experience some of Indy’s sweetheart small businesses, and local small businesses, in turn, gain the additional exposure that comes from engaging new customers. Ultimately, all Fight for Small site traffic and all site links infuse money back into the local economy, triggering a ripple effect of economic good will.
Fight for Small not only bridges the gap between small businesses and the Web but also the burgeoning chasm between small businesses and the local community. With this initiative, locals can experience the authentic side of Indy—the old-fashioned mom-and-pop shops and the fan-favorite startups — and small businesses can retain their prime realty on Main Street. Our small businesses are integral to the slightly quirky, but always hospitable, Midwestern charm that distinguishes Indianapolis from other heartland cities. Let’s make sure we keep it that way.
Head to Kickstarter, donate, and share with friends so we can build this together.