Holiday Local2Shopping local businesses is more important than ever. This holiday season, try checking out local businesses for your holiday gift needs.

Shopping small has far-reaching community benefits. Studies show that for every $100 spent at a local business, at least $58 remains in the local economy. Additionally, small businesses donate almost 2.5 times more revenue towards local nonprofits, events and teams compared to national chains.

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Ferne Clyffe State Park Southern Illinois boasts dozens of unique state parks and recreational areas, including the scenic Ferne Clyffe State Park, which covers 2,430 acres in the heart of the Shawnee Hills.

Impressive rock formations can be seen from almost all of the park trails, but two of the best-known sights are Hawks' Cave, a 150-foot-long shelter bluff, and a 100-foot-tall intermittent waterfall on the Big Rocky Hollow Trail.

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dog 3438453 960 720Cats and dogs are very loving animals. Sometimes, they need a home to spread that love. Dog Patch helps animals find loving homes. The organization has been in Naperville for over 25 years. Despite their name, Dog Patch also takes care of cats.

Dog Patch originally started with puppies and kittens from breeders they considered reputable. However, they grew to believe the industry was not taking proper care of animals. As a result, they made the switch to taking care of rescue animals. They work with Puppy Rescue 911 in order to get pets out of poor situations and into the arms of loving families.

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Small Business Saturday What better way to kick off the holiday shopping season than by shopping at local businesses in your community?

Small Business Saturday has been observed on the Saturday following Thanksgiving since 2010, as a community-minded counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It was first promoted by American Express and quickly gained momentum nationally, with the U.S. Senate passing a resolution in 2011 in support of the day.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 88 million consumers shopped local on Small Business Saturday in 2019. Of those, 66% said that they chose to shop small because they wanted to help contribute to their local communities.

Supporting small businesses is more important than ever this year—help keep your community moving by looking local first when shopping for gifts. If money is tight, you can still lend a hand to independent business owners by leaving a positive review online, referring a friend, or engaging with your favorite businesses on social media.

Not sure where to start? Check out Enjoy Illinois’ list of the local shops, artisans, breweries and restaurants our state has to offer.

japan 360422 960 720The people of Bloomington are in for a treat, courtesy of the confectionery company Ferrero North America. The company announced plans to spend $75 million in order to expand their factory in Bloomington by 70,000 square feet.

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