Heartland shops small businesses on Saturday

Huge effort to supports small business

ANNA, Ill. (KFVS) - City after city across the Heartland, people were out shopping for those unique holiday gifts.

We saw many people shopping at small businesses as part of Small Business Saturday.

In Anna, they went above and beyond. They had light poles and shops decorated and plenty of vendors inside and outside the stores.

An organization called Creating Entrepreneur Opportunities, where 14 high schoolers went out to fundraise, collect and buy items from businesses in Union County to sell to the public.

In turn, they use the products and sponsors as advertising to help bring in more people to shop local businesses.

“Without our local businesses, our community would not be what it is,” Julia Hall said. “We’ve seen how much support they’ve shown to us just from this business alone, how much they support our school, sports programs. Now with COVID, we know how many of them are struggling.”

The goal is for each of the high schoolers to make their own small businesses due to the program.

Some already have started their own small business and were vendors at the event.

Lilli Mason already has set up shop with her own business called Lilli of the Valley.

She is now selling her own hand-crafted items including bath bombs, wax melt, lip balm, and more.

“This is awesome,” Mason said. “There’s been so many people here today and it’s a really great opportunity for my business. So this is the second year I’ve had it so I am really trying to promote it right now.”

The City of Anna also decorated the park and converted it into Gumdrop Lane.

They plan people drive through the park Saturday evening to drop off angel tree gifts, light the tree and have a small firework display.

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