pexels gustavo fring 4254137DANVILLE – With the holiday season fast approaching and the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is reminding residents to shop small and support local businesses whenever possible.

“Small businesses play a vital role in our economy, and it’s important that we promote and support them this holiday season,” Bennett said. “I encourage folks to think about the difference they can make in our community by supporting businesses where our friends and neighbors work.”

As people begin their holiday shopping, Bennett is reminding residents that supporting small doesn’t just mean shopping at brick-and-mortar stores. Residents can support small businesses through online sales, ordering carryout from a locally owned restaurant or buying a gift card for a friend.

Additionally, if money is tight due to the financial concerns relating to the pandemic, people can still support local businesses by following their social media, recommending them to friends and leaving positive reviews.

“For every dollar spent at a small business, 67 cents stays in the community. Small businesses have always been there for us, and now it’s time to give back,” Bennett said. “We can give these folks a hand up this holiday season by shopping locally.”

Bennett would also like to remind struggling small businesses that the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has launched the second round of the Business Interruption Grant program, which will distribute $220 million to small businesses hit hardest by the ongoing pandemic, including movie theaters, event venues, hotels and more. Learn more and apply here.