Holiday shopping promotes loyal to local, more than one way to participate

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. — It’s no secret that deals drive business.

So when it comes to shopping local versus chain stores versus online, it’s a never-ending battle.

As consumers, we want the best bang for our buck. This holiday season is expected to break records in more than one way. Central Illinois will still reap the financial benefit of the dollars you spend.

For the first time, the U.S. holiday shopping season will cross a trillion dollars in revenue. With six fewer shopping days this year, Americans and Illinoisans are opening their wallets both in local shops and online.

“We know dollars turn over seven times if spent locally,” said Jeff Griffin, President, Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce. “So when you think of a dollar turning over seven times with whatever you’re buying then that means more haircuts, more oil changes, more grocery shopping and it just stays local.”

eMarketer forecasts this Cyber Monday to be the biggest online shopping day on record surpassing the $10 billion mark. For UPS stores and the like, the uptick in online purchases bodes well for business.

“No matter where people are buying these items that they’re shipping or returning or whatever, I mean, we are a locally owned business, so that is bringing us business,” said Gabe Jeffries, Manager, UPS Store in Peoria.

Some shoppers prefer to be loyal to local, but even if you decide to check out online, those tax dollars will soon be coming home.

“Let’s be frank that it’s not going anywhere right?,” said Tory Dahlhoff, Director of Communications & Outreach of Peoria EDC. “Online shopping is only going to grow, but how can we encourage people to still make a conscious effort to take the time to spend a portion of their income at local stores?”

Come July 1, when shopping online Peoria’s 9% sales tax, Bloomington’s 8.75%, Washington’s 8.5%, Carlock’s 7.25% and more will all come back to local municipalities.

“I think it will help us to capture what’s really being spent here in our community,” said Melissa Hon, Economic Development Director for City of Bloomington. “And to once again, keep that money locally so that we can help to create a bigger economic impact.”

This holiday season, mCommerce, or purchases on cellphones or tablets, will bring in 6.4% of holiday sales nationwide. Online sales will generate 13.2% or $135 billion dollars. Brick and motor stores still remain top dog bringing in over $870 billion.

“Now more than ever, it’s more important because of this impact on our local tax dollars that affect real-life things- park districts, school systems, library systems,” said Joe Russell, Owner of Russell’s Cycling Fitness Center.

“$0.67 for every dollar spent stays here locally,” said Hon. “And as a municipality, those are the funds that we use to pay for public safety, police, fire, infrastructure improvements.”

So while you wrap your gifts, light your candles, or fasting holiday shopping will be on the minds of almost every Central Illinoisan as we begin the holiday season.

To view the report from eMarketer, CLICK HERE.

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