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Shop Local 365 Campaign Launched

Peoria Public Radio/Kristin McHugh

Shopping locally everyday improves our daily lives. That’s the message of the new Shop Local 365 initiative launched Tuesday in Peoria.

Organizers say shopping local doesn’t have to mean shopping only small businesses. Purchases at regional big-box retailers contribute to the local tax base, but that isn’t necessarily the case for those who shop exclusively on the websites of the same retailers.

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis says generating local revenue is critical to the city’s bottom line.

“We estimated that we lost about $4-million dollars in sales taxes last year to the internet. That’s $4-million that would have gone to help operate our city-help pay our public works guys that are working on the streets; our police officers and firefighters," says Ardis.

Chris Setti is the Greater Peoria Economic Development Council CEO.

“We’re not going to be able to convince everybody to stop their purchases online. What we want everybody to do is to think first about a local option. It’s just not individuals, businesses have to think about this as well,” says Setti.

Shop Local 365 is an expansion of the holiday season “shop local” message. The campaign is supported by businesses and economic groups in Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Mason and Logan Counties.

Kristin McHugh is an experienced radio journalist and nonprofit manager. Most recently, she served as executive director of the Peoria Area World Affairs Council.