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Business owners say recent push for small business markets help local economy

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PEORIA (WEEK) -- Since March of last year, there has been a greater push to shop local and shop small. Now, Central Illinois has seen a resurgence of farmer's markets to help support even the smallest of businesses.

CEO of the Minority Business Development Center, Denise Moore, organized the Outdoor Marketplace to showcase minority owned businesses in the area.

She was not alone in the push to shop local. East Peoria has multiple markets throughout the week as well as Peoria.

Moore said people used to only really here of the Riverfront Market in Peoria, but since the pandemic, there had been a shift.

"If you can have folks employed in their own communities, in businesses that are thriving, it keeps the dollar circulating, it improves the economic opportunity for everyone in that community," said Moore.

Real estate developer, Katie Kim, is an organizer of the Keller Station Farmer's Market held every Wednesday. She said they chose a week day, rather than a weekend to provide more opportunity for sellers and customers.

"We really wanted to make it a destination for those small vendors that were able to get that exposure of being on Knoxville or a highly trafficked area, where a lot of the farmers market may not be able to give that to them," said CEO of the Kim Group, Katie Kim.

Kim hoped businesses were able to connect with their customers to make sure they would thrive during the colder months, without outdoor events.

Paige Blanzy

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