ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Rockford is all about supporting local businesses, especially after this harsh winter.
"Homemade stuff I think is better than buying something made in China," says Kelly Lindsay, Spring Market customer.
Kelly Lindsay not only appreciates the endless hours it takes to hand craft goods, but she believes a strong local economy stems from buying local.
"To buy something that people work so hard for, and they dedicate their work to everything they do."
The Lou Bachrodt Auto Mall is hosting its First Annual Rockford Spring Market, where 21 local vendors are selling their products from homemade pies to handmade soaps. Bachrodt's General Manager George Schaffner believes local businesses need a boost in sales after this long, drawn-out winter.
"We decided it's a great opportunity to open up our local showroom, bring the vendors in, and let them get some exposure. Also, to help those local businesses get that revenue they need to survive in the winter months," says George Schaffner.
With only a few events like this sprinkled through the winter, the Spring Market gives businesses like Kate's Pie Shop a boost. Meanwhile, giving shoppers a little taste of what they can expect at Rockford's City Market, which starts at the end of May. Kate Sullivan, who owns the pie shop, says she depends on events like this one to keep her business thriving.
"When you spend your money on a local business, that money stays in the community," says Kate Sullivan.
Lindsay says every time she buys local, she knows that her hard-earned money is going towards a good cause.
"If I can come and help a few people out than that makes me happy," says Lindsay.
Various community organizations were also at today's event, hoping to bring on some volunteers. If you're interested in helping out, organizations that can use volunteers are: The Literacy Council, Heartland Hospice, Rockford Sexual Assault Counseling, Children's Home and Aid, and Salvation Army.