STATELINE (WIFR) – Jim Phelps' store, Phoenix Traders on 7th Street in Rockford, is filled from top to bottom with locally made goods and fair trade products from as far away as Nepal. He hopes more shoppers will swing in to check out these unique items when he opens Black Friday.
"It helps your local economy, it helps your neighbors and it helps everything, your tax base, to be able to pay for schools and roads and so on, that money stays locally, circulates locally and grows locally,” says Phelps.
One local business that's done some growing, the Canine Crunchery in Rockford. After selling her hand baked pet treats on line for the last few years, owner Jane Femminella earned enough money to open a store front. For her first Black Friday, Femminella will open early and provide extra incentives to her two legged and four legged customers.
“We're going to have pops for pups, star pops, we’re going to have cider for the humans, and treats for humans and lots of treats for dogs," says Femminella.
This will also be the first Black Friday at Culture Shock's new and expanded location on Charles Street; plenty of deals and discounts are planned throughout the day.
"Local businesses are the heart and soul of a community. Buying local will increase the amount of money that comes back into the community,” says Lauren Davis, co-owner or Culture Shock. “When you're supporting a local business, you’re really supporting the uniqueness of Winnebago County."
Shop owners say they want buyers to remember they've got options when buying gifts this Black Friday.
The ads are already out for Black Friday deals. It’s a day most people associate with big box stores, but several local businesses are getting in on the action. Buying local this week can have a year round effect on the Stateline economy.
You may not find Black Friday Deals in the paper for places like Phoenix Traders or the Canine Crunchery, but they’ll be open that day with their own sales and specials.
They’re just two of the more than a dozen local shops that have plans to open Black Friday. They’re encouraging shoppers to skip the lines and crowds at other places and swing in to local businesses. Just like bigger stores, many are running specials and staying open extra hours. Some of the shopkeepers say the money spent at local places makes more of an impact on our community.
"It helps your local economy, it helps your neighbors and it helps everything, your tax base, to be able to pay for schools and roads and so on, that money stays locally, circulates locally and grows locally. All these are the backbone of your local economy and thrive because of you,” said Jim Phelps.
To show you how buying local makes a difference, two of the shops we visited today recently opened new locations, one bought their store, the other rents. Investments they say were made possible in part because of the ongoing support of Stateline shoppers.
Many of the shops will also open on Small Business Saturday, which is a nationwide campaign to promote buying local.
Just some of the local shops that will be open this upcoming Black Friday include:
The Olive Oil Experience
ZaZu Gifts and Floral
Katie's Pie Shop
Rockford Art Deli
Candles and Suds
You can also find more on the Winnebago Buy Local Facebook page.