IL city hopes initiative encourages local spending

IL city provides incentive to buy local

CHESTER, IL (KFVS) - Illinois' budget issues are impacting nearly every walk of life. With no budget in place, cuts to state programs lead to problems locally for businesses and families.

Folks are pinching pennies across the state but one local city where leaders say they hope a new incentive get folks to spend locally.

"This has just really taken off. I has really taken up all of my time," said Barbara Bierman.

For less than five months, Barb's Bounty has been open for business.

She said her made-from-scratch menu has attracted regulars, but she knows times are hard for some of her customers.

"We have a lot of customers who work for the state ... we do see other state workers here fairly regularly," she said.

"Illinois had arguably a difficult business to begin with and if you put this on top of it, for a community like ours that has not only folks that work for the state but folks that do business with the state," said Tom Welgee.

Chester's Chamber of Commerce Tom Welgee said the "Dine out Chester" incentive hopes to draw more customers to local restaurants.

"Eventually that filters through the whole community," he said.

For every $10 spent at one of the 11 participating restaurants folks will be able to check it off on their green card.

Spend $100, and you'll be entered in drawing for a cash prize.

Welgee said it's always important to spend locally, but especially during times like these.

"You have to be eternally optimistic about this. You have to study what other communities have done successfully and then try to deploy them in your own community with the resources that you have," he said.

This is the first time Chester has done an incentive like this.

They said they got the idea from Carbondale's Chamber of Commerce.

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