Rep. Bryant Urges Southern Illinoisans to "Shop Small"

Murphysboro....State Representative Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro) is urging local residents to get in to the holiday spirit this year by shopping local as a part of Small Business Saturday. The promotion is an annual holiday shopping event organized by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business.

"'Shopping Small' has a big impact on local economies," Bryant said. "Every dollar spent at local small businesses turns over in the local economy several times which leads to more job creation and greater prosperity for small, family owned businesses."

Bryant is using the occasion of Small Business Saturday, which takes place this year on Saturday, November 25th this year to make constituents aware of "Shop Small" promotions taking place throughout the 115th district and in other parts of Southern Illinois.

The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a program called "Keep the Cheer Here", which gives local shoppers a game card to get stamped at five or more Jefferson County businesses between November 25 and December 2. The cards can be picked up at any participating business in Jefferson County. Participants will be given a chance to win cash prizes of $100, $150, or $200 in the Cash Bash drawings to be held following the end of the Downtown Mount Vernon Christmas Parade on December 2nd.

Another effort, called "Shop Southern Illinois" features fifteen area Chambers of Commerce and several regional businesses that have teamed up to encourage Southern Illinoisans to do a majority of their holiday shopping in the region, rather than traveling out of the area or shopping online. The use of the hashtag #IBUYSI is being encouraged by Shop Southern Illinois for shoppers to share what they have purchased at local businesses on social media platforms.

Southern Illinois residents can learn more about the promotion by visiting the Shop Southern Illinois Facebook page at Facebook.com/ShopSouthernIllinois.

"This holiday season I really want to encourage the people of Southern Illinois to put an emphasis on buying items from local retailers," Bryant said. "These 'Shop Small' promotions can have a big impact. I am happy to help spread the word and increase awareness of these promotions to help increase participation."

Bryant also noted some important statistics regarding small business economic impact. She noted that there are currently over 1 million small businesses in Illinois that employ 2.4 million people. Small businesses account for 99.6% of Illinois businesses which means that 46% of Illinoisans are employed by a small business.

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