'Michiana Small Businesses' group page helping small business owners thrive during the pandemic

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- A new Facebook group is bringing Michiana together and helping small business owners thrive during the pandemic.

The Facebook page ‘Michiana Small Businesses’ is making a difference by creating a network to help out local businesses.

And, they’ve quickly reached about 5,000 community members since it all first started in January of this year.

Andi Swanson is the creator of the ‘Michiana Small Businesses’ Facebook page and has made it her mission to help other business owners in the community grow.

Swanson tells me she is amazed at how quickly this group has grown in such a short period of time.

The need for local support from business to business really has shown itself in the numbers.

She felt the need to create a platform that brought awareness to small businesses that were hurting during the pandemic to help give a push to the motto ‘shop local’.

Swanson’s passion drove her to volunteer her time in community involvement but she says you won’t catch her advertising her own business on there because that was not the intention when creating the page.

Instead her focus is dedicated to helping others by doing giveaways in partnership with local shops, giving back to non-profits, hosting vendor events, spotlighting businesses and more.

They just hosted their first pop-up event at 4ever Nutrition on Saturday.

She plans to host vendor events every third Saturday of the month at different local shops and invites the community to check out business they probably have not heard of before.

“I wanted a platform where people go ‘hey we are here and bring awareness to business that we have not known about here in our community. And, just find out about different things, I feel that communities are everything and we all need to stick together,” Swanson said.

“Oftentimes people starting small businesses, they are hidden gems and we don’t want our gems to be hidden anymore. We want people to know what we are offering,” said Sarah Seales, who is a member of Michiana Small Businesses.

So, if you're looking for something to do every third Saturday of the month or are curious how to get involved, anyone is welcomed to become a part of the ‘Michiana Small Businesses’ Facebook group.

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