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Pekin’s ‘Smallmart’ unites community

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More than 30 local small buisnesses spread out across Pekin to create a safe and fun shopping day for the community.

"We definitely need each other, especially during this time," said owner of Dr. Lori's Apothecary, Lori Wright. "It feels like its been a long time, so I appreciate being able to see people again."

Businesses of all types filled area parking lots with something for everyone, including laser engraved bottles, homemade jewelry and plenty of trendy outfits.

When it comes to being a business owner, age has no limit and one 11-year-old artist says that her customers love her homemade touch.

"It doesn't matter your age," said owner of Callie's Paintings, Callie Wight. You can probably make anything that you desire if you just put work into it and a little bit of time and effort."

While shopping online has been easier with COVID-19 constrictions, the Pekin business owners say they build and maintain the foundation for a healthy community.

"It kind of keeps the whole community going," said Jax and Quinn Boutique Owner, Jessica Mowder. "When you buy something from me you're also helping me buy my kids Christmas presents."

Andie Bernhardt

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