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Franchising Over 30 Years!

Indianapolis Business Bounces Back After Recession

Local Sign Business Sees Success Again as Businesses Regain Economic Footing

September 24, 2013 (Indianapolis) – Surviving the economic downturn has been especially hard on small businesses that rely on other small businesses as customers. Chad Smith, who has owned and operated his Signarama business since May 2006, felt the hardships of his clients acutely during the recession. Thankfully, he says, things have finally started looking up. In fact, business was up 55 percent in 2012 over 2011 and this year is looking just as strong. Also, on March 1, Smith expanded his operation by purchasing a building at 1331 N. Capitol Avenue that was built in the 1850s and renovating it from top to bottom.

“New business slowed down a lot, and even our long-time clients were bringing in less work,” said Smith. “The recession affected everybody, and we saw the problems they were having reflected in their business with us. But over the past year or so we’ve seen significant growth. Companies are starting to invest in their signage and promotional material again.”

Smith has spent most of his professional life with Signarama. After graduating from Indiana University in 2004, he spent two years managing a Sprint store before deciding to open a Signarama business in Indianapolis with his father and brother, both named Ed Smith, as his business partners.

“A family friend was a regional vice president for Signarama,” he explained. “He presented the opportunity to us, educated us about the company, and it seemed like a great decision for my future. And it really has been.”

Approaching 900 locations in 50 countries, Signarama is the world’s largest sign franchise. The business provides comprehensive sign and graphic services to consumers and commercial customers—from digital, neon, LED and pylon signs to vehicle wraps, banners and monuments.

Smith has not been a stranger to adversity during his time as a Signarama owner. He has faced stiff competition in his area from other stores. “We have quite a bit of competition,” he said, “but the community has been great to us, and great to be a part of.” The rebound in the economy and the loyalty of his customers in the community has provided significant opportunity to the Smiths as they are established as a brand and as respected businessmen in Indianapolis.

Signarama currently has 11 locations in Indiana and expects further expansion in the area, with plans to open at 30 more units in Indiana within five years.  Nationwide, the company plans to open 50 more locations by the end of 2013. By December 2016, the company projects to have more than 1,200 locations.


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