Here we are – Thanksgiving is upon us. The holidays are here – what a wonderful time of year. As we enter this fruitful and joyous season, it is good to remember (and be thankful for) the great communities we have – locally. With so many great businesses, retail shops, restaurants, and attractions, we are blessed beyond measure that our communities can be as viable, thriving, and prosperous.
In America, we know that many small communities are struggling to stay alive. Many businesses are struggling as well. Even though our communities seem to be better than average, it is important to remember to continue supporting our local businesses. Without local support, most businesses would fail.
During this special time of year when we are shopping, let’s try checking our local shops first before heading out of town. More than likely, you will find what you are looking for here!
Watch for Special Black Friday/Small Business Saturday sales across town! These events and events like the “Shopping Celebration” event coming up on December 3rd – sponsored by Specialty Shops – create an easy way for folks to shop locally. It is truly amazing what we have available here, and it is truly amazing what spending $100 in our community can do compared to spending it outside our county.
Bobbi McKeon, of Heart’s Desire, says, “Spending the money locally reminds us of the poem, “Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and it is gone; But there’s half-a-hundred ripples, Circling on and on and on, Spreading, spreading from the center, flowing on out to the sea. And there is no way of telling where the end is going to be!” Truly, every dollar spent locally, can actually help the local communities one hundred times over.
“We experienced this during our 20th Anniversary Celebration last month,” Bobbi continues. “It feels so great when we see so many locals experience our shop! Antiques are another great thing that draws people into the area. Between our store and Antiques and Uniques, we see many antique shoppers, and they are often very good customers.”
It is interesting to note what some of our local shops do to attract customers and get them to keep coming back. Once ‘n Again just held their 15th anniversary sale earlier this month. Having a very faithful customer base, as a way to show appreciation, a few times each year they hold a “Faithful Shopper” event, and their store is crowded all day long. Highly publicized sales and ongoing events at Once ‘n Again, bring in many, many folks from out of town.
Dave’s Supermarket also brings in a lot of people from outside the area and gives them the “WOW” experience so they will come back. They also hold their customer appreciation event – the Pig-out in June – with food and fun for everyone. During their BIG meat sales, with management out serving customers, they try to take special notice of new faces. On occasion, they give new folks something for free or hand them a dinner coupon, and you can believe that these folks will be coming back.
Serendipity offers locally-made chocolates – created by Black & White Confections in Gibson City. Periodically, when they have a new customer who makes some sizable purchases, they slip in a sample of their salted caramels. Delicious… and another draw to return to Fairbury.
The Cascade Gardens garden center is seasonally a huge draw for our community. People come from far and wide for their flowers, vegetables, and plants. Throughout the year, folks stop by for fresh eggs, too!
Meyer’s Gifts recently held a candy-making event. Candy supplies, molds, flavorings, etc. are sold at the store. This event showed how easy it is to mold your own candies, create nut clusters, and make candy popcorn!
Nature’s Design creates many beautiful floral arrangements for those special occasions – weddings, funerals, parties, and so much more – bringing friends and family into our area.
Sometimes when stopping by Kilgus Farmstead it is interesting to note how many folks run out there for an ice cream treat again and again! It surely keeps people coming back! Remember…Kilgus Farmstead’s special Christmas Open House event is on Sat. November 26th from 10am – 2pm. Run out there for meat & cheese samples and specialty butter on Beef House rolls! Yummm… If you want Beef House Rolls for the holidays, call ahead to guarantee your order (815) 692-6080.
Lost Arts hold classes for various skills knitting, sewing, etc. County Cupboard also holds classes each month for a variety of topics. You might be surprised what all you can learn attending classes locally!
Don’t miss the Special Black Friday/Small Business Saturday sales across town! Shopping local is fun, festive, and fruitful! Remember to check out our local shops first before heading out of town!
As always, call Bobbi McKeon at (815) 692-4500 or email fairbury@fairburyILattractions.com with any stories, ideas or suggestions for interesting topics to write for our community.