by Neve Kelley

You can make a difference in your own
community by shopping small.

Small Business Saturday
is a shopping holiday in the
United States created by American
Express to encourage people to shop locally.
According to the 2020 Small Business
Consumer Insights Survey, the 11th annual
Small Business Saturday reached a record
high of $19.8 billion in reported spending.
This survey also demonstrated that 97% of
shoppers recognized the positive impact
they could make by shopping small, and 85%
of shoppers said they encouraged others
to shop small. This positive evidence shows
that the awareness and support for the
Shop Small campaign is high and will likely
continue to grow. American consumers often prioritize online
retailers over local stores because of the ease
at which they can shop, but the “Shop Small”
movement is trying hard to combat this.
Shopping small adds up, and over time will
allow you to be a part of your own thriving
community.

The first official Small Business
Saturday event took place on November 27,

  1. This event was so successful that a year
    later, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed
    a resolution in support of the day, and it is
    recognized by the President of the United
    States United States every year. Small
    Business Saturday is also a counterpart
    to Black Friday and Cyber Monday,
    always occurring on the Saturday after
    Thanksgiving. This is to encourage holiday
    shoppers to support local businesses, rather
    than major retailers and e-commerce stores
    according to American Express.

According to the 2020 Small Business
Consumer Insights Survey, the 11th annual
Small Business Saturday reached a record
high of $19.8 billion in reported spending.
This survey also demonstrated that 97% of
shoppers recognized the positive impact
they could make by shopping small, and 85%
of shoppers said they encouraged others
to shop small. This positive evidence shows
that the awareness and support for the
Shop Small campaign is high and will likely
continue to grow.

According to Shop Local 365, a
campaign for shopping small in the Greater
Peoria area, shopping local in Peoria is
not an event—“it’s a daily practice to
grow stronger communities.” Rather than
a single event once a year, Shop Local
365 encourages members of the Peoria
community to shop small every single day.
Their website also states that people in the
Peoria area are “coming together to form
their own shopping culture” that supports
small businesses and sets up the community
for long-term success.

Not only does shopping small
allow money to circulate and benefit
our community instead of ending up in
the pockets of strangers, it allows us to
build our own strong economy from the
inside out. The “local multiplier” effect
explains that money put into our economy
will circulate and increase revenue and
income opportunities for other local
businesses; but when outside purchases
are made, those funds are transferred
outside of the local economy. Shop
Local 365 encourages us to keep that
money in the Greater Peoria area.

Now, more than ever, small
businesses need support. By just picking
up a cup of coffee from a local coffee
shop or buying a gift from a local store,
you are making a difference. If you are
inspired to support a small business, here
are a few businesses in Peoria area you
can support, whether that is by shopping
or sharing them on social media:
Leaves ‘n Beans Coffee Co.
Lit On Fire
Relics
Urban Artifacts
Moon Dancer
Rhythm Kitchen
Radish Kitchen (formerly Up Beet Jams)
The Noshery
Styles Studio

About Neve Kelley

Neve Kelley a senior in the International Baccalaureate Program at Richwoods High School. In addition to being in an academically rigorous program, she is also heavily involved in community and school theatre productions. She takes private voice lessons and has been involved with choir and madrigals at Richwoods. Kelley is the co-editor in chief of her school paper, sits on the executive board of student council, and is in various school clubs. She also spends much of her time working as a barista at Leaves ‘n Beans in Peoria Heights. 

Art by Aryanne Westfall

Ary Westfall is a junior Interactive Media major and Theatre Arts minor attending Bradley University. She is the social media manager for DAT, creates webcomics in her free time, and enjoys all forms of sequential art. Ary hopes to break into the comic world or find work in pre-production art for television. 

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