Regional Organizations Collaborate on Small Business Saturday

It’s time to spread the word about Small Business Saturday, the day dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide. Small Business Saturday is November 30th, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This is 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.

Local project coordinator Rachel O’Connell, with 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. “Small businesses are the lifeblood of every community. In fact more than 95% of businesses in our region are considered small business and they employ over half of all private sector workers. That is why we are all working together to promote Small Business Saturday throughout Greater Peoria.”

Rick Swan, Executive Director of the East Peoria Chamber of Commerce, says his organization is proud to be a part of this program and it’s important for everyone to get involved. “Not only are these small business owners our friends and our neighbors, but they are the driving force behind our regional economy. Small businesses accounted for 64% of the net new jobs created in the U.S. between 1993 and 2011. For every $100 spent at locally owned independent stores more than half of it returns to the regional economy through taxes, payroll and other expenditures.”

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.

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.”

Visit Small Business Saturday Central Illinois on Facebook at to see what’s happening with the regional effort or learn more about how you can show your support at

Small Business Saturday is a national initiative.  It sits between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is dedicated to driving sales to small businesses on one of the busiest holiday shopping weekends of the year.  It is the day we celebrate the Shop Small movement and support the small businesses that help fuel the economy and invigorate communities. 


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