Doing your shopping in-stores benefits you, not just businesses

PEORIA - Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a lot of your money will be going toward holiday shopping over the next few weeks. But did you know you could reap the benefits of shopping local? 

Local leaders hope you're actually heading out, and not just clicking away at items from the comfort of your home.

"Many people don't know that shopping local in your community brings so much more tax dollars and reinvestment into the community than shopping local," says Gretchen Pearsall, Director of Strategic Communications with Peoria County. "Your tax dollars locally go so much further, they support your law enforcement, your fire department, city services, the people who fill pot holes and come out to help." 

In addition to that, local business owners are more likely to re-invest in the community. 

"When you buy from local small businesses, that money you spend at that business is circulated - on average - three times in your community," says Dr. Leslie McKnight, Senior Development Specialist with the City of Peoria. "Whether it's for vendors or suppliers, or even for services like accountants or cleaners, so that money is recirculated in our community." 

Despite these benefits, a survey by the National Retail Federation says 59% of us plan to shop online. Only 25% are expected to shop at local, small businesses. 

Jade Wagenbach, owner of Belle Mie says, "We have so many great stores in this area and they just can't thrive with people shopping online all the time." 

Wagenbach has been here for about 11 years, and after being in business, she still gets excited to see new faces walk in. 

"It's great to see a new customer come in, that is what really makes it worth it and I just wish people knew that there are so many great places in this area." 

One thing you can't get online is good service: face-to-face contact and help from someone who knows the product well."

When you're out and about in the frigid temperatures, there's no better way to beat the cold than a hot cup of coffee from a local shop.

CxT Roasting Company has been open for about 11 months and is run by three brothers. And while they're invested in hot beverages, they're equally invested in the community.

"We're always reinvesting our money here," says CxT co-founder Mitchell Popadziuk. "We live here, so when we go out, we patron other local businesses as well." 

So when you're planning for the holidays, remember to shop local, and maybe grab a cup of Joe.


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