New initiative aims to help southern Illinois businesses

Local businesses showcased to keep economy moving amid pandemic

CARTERVILLE, Ill. (KFVS) - In an effort that started five months ago, Senator Dale Fowler’s Southern Illinois Shop, Eat and Play initiative is showing off local businesses in a time where many are having a hard time due to the pandemic.

“I’m so excited that we will be able to showcase the amazing businesses as well as the breath-taking beauty and world class talent right here in our region.”

Fowler said local businesses are the backbone of our economy.

“We’re making the best of this situation as we continue to move forward and grow our economy here in southern Illinois," he said.

Videos of the local businesses are being shown on the website SIMade.org where potential customers have a chance to learn more about the various businesses and their products.

One of the businesses taking part is Crown Brew Coffee in Marion. Owner Jared Gravatt knows they will benefit from this initiative in so many ways.

“There’s such a need in the community to rile together and support locally. Lot of people don’t know the importance of that," Gravatt said.

Jefferson County Chamber executive director Mike Beard said in this time now we need to shop locally.

“It’s so easy to grab that mouse and click and order whatever you are ordering. But you can do that locally. Most of our local retailers in the community have a website presence. They would be more than happy for you to come out and visit with them," Beard said.

Fowler said he hopes locals continue to support their hometown businesses

“We hope people see this initiative and take it to heart. So, our neighbors, our economy and our communities can better manage this pandemic and come out stronger when this pandemic is over with.”

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