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  • Regional Organizations Collaborate for Small Business Saturday

    November 26, 2013 (Peoria, IL)—Dozens of regional leaders and area residents were on hand today to celebrate the kick off of Small Business Saturday in Central Illinois. Small Business Saturday is November 30th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s a national initiative aimed at getting consumers to spend locally and support the small businesses in their community for at least one day during the holiday shopping season.

    The Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce is leading the regional collaboration. Local project coordinator Rachel O’Connell, Communications and Marketing Manager for the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce, says there are many regional partners on board helping promote the initiative including area Chambers of Commerce, economic development organizations, cities, and counties.  “This is the third year for our coordinated regional effort. Our goal is to make Small Business Saturday a success in our market as well as nationwide. This is truly a regional collaboration.”

    Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis encouraged residents throughout Greater Peoria to support Small Business Saturday. “Small businesses provide investment in a community. For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, more than half of it returns to the economy through taxes, payroll, and other expenditures. In fact, 98% of all businesses in the Greater Peoria area are considered small business. It’s our responsibility to support them.”

    Bill Fleming, Executive Director of the Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce, says the national coordinators highlighted Central Illinois’ effort last year as an example of how communities should collaborate.  “We want to showcase an even stronger effort this year.  We are reaching out to small businesses encouraging them to create specials to entice shoppers to visit their stores on this day and we are also reaching out to shoppers encouraging them to make a concerted effort to shop at the small locally owned stores on November 30th.”  

    This is the fourth year for the national Small Business Saturday movement.  It includes an exhaustive social media promotion. Last year’s effort resulted in more than 3.2 million 'Likes' on Facebook and more than 213,000 supportive tweets.  National reports show that millions of shoppers turned out to support Small Business Saturday 2012. Consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday jumped to 67 percent.   

    Visit Small Business Saturday Central Illinois on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Small-Business-Saturday-Central-Illinois/ to see what’s happening with the regional effort or learn more about how you can show your support at www.shopsmall.com