The Illinois Office of Tourism is making it easier for residents to shop safely and locally during the pandemic.
Released just in time for Small Business Saturday, their annual Illinois Made Holiday Gift Guide features one-of-a-kind products from 19 small businesses around the state — three of which are in the Local 4 News viewing area.
All products in this year’s gift guide are available for online purchase, with some providing contact-free curbside pickup.
Erin Guthrie, Director for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development, says these accommodations are being made to encourage safe holiday shopping while also supporting local businesses.
“All across the state, thousands of small businesses play an essential role in our communities, as well as the economy. As the pandemic looms large this year, we are encouraging residents to consider supporting small and local in their holiday shopping plans,” said Guthrie. “The businesses featured in this year’s Holiday Gift Guide are among the many Illinois businesses who are stepping up in new ways to pivot their operations to new online formats, putting great products and services within reach for new and existing customers while protecting staff and their communities during this unprecedented time.”
The gift guide is part of the Illinois Made program, an initiative that recognizes the contributions of iconic local businesses representing communities across the state.
The Illinois Office of Tourism says the guide aims to provide shoppers a chance to experience the state through its small businesses by offering unique products — from gourmet chocolates and handmade skin care products, to coffee and candles — found only in Illinois.
“Small businesses play a significant role in driving tourism to our Illinois communities and boosting the state’s economy,” said Karla Flannery, Deputy Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “This year’s Illinois Made Gift Guide is a helpful resource to support local small businesses during this challenging time. We hope shoppers will use the guide to discover authentic products made right in their Illinois backyard, providing another reason to shop and visit in person when it is safe to do so.”
More information about the Illinois Office of Tourism is here.