From the Editors
Some community members don’t want you to discount the benefits of shopping local this Christmas. That’s why they are offering anything from free parking to trolley rides to entice shoppers to stop by local shops this holiday season.
Erin Lippitz, Executive Director of the Champaign Center Partnership, says for every $100 spent in a locally-owned business, $68 goes into the local economy.
“And by that we mean the business owner sends his daughter to a local soccer camp, pays fees at a local school, eats Sunday brunch at a local restaurant, makes a donation to a local charity, and probably supports other local merchants by making purchases at their stores,” Lippitz said.
If keeping profits in your community and supporting your neighboring families isn’t reason enough, just remember that buying products from local stores also means you are ensuring a vital future for your community and making sure it continues to thrive with unique, independent businesses.
Here are a few ways the community is encouraging people to shop local this year.
Free Parking in the Hill Street Parking Deck
During the month of December, the City of Champaign will offer free parking in the Hill Street Parking Deck as a thank you for patronizing Downtown businesses. People who spend $5.00 or more at any Downtown business or restaurant are eligible for one free visit in the parking deck, good for up to four hours on the same day as their purchase. The offer is limited to one free visit in the deck per day between the hours of 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday. As always, parking in the deck is free on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Hill Street Parking Deck is located at the corner of Hill and Randolph Streets. Customers will need to provide proof of their same day purchase to the cashier in the booth at the Hill Street exit to receive their free parking.
Shop Local Saturdays
Local merchants will be offering various incentives, discounts, and promotions every Saturday between Nov. 29-Dec. 20. Here’s a list of participating businesses.
Get a trolley tour of Downtown, Midtown and Campustown districts and see locally-owned businesses along the way. The trolley rides are free (include hot chocolate and entertainment) and will be held every Saturday in December.
Starting Dec. 1 and ending Dec. 22, get a stamp for every Holiday Elf you find hidden at 24 local businesses. Once you find 12 elves, you can be entered to win a gift box filled with items donated from local shops.
Holiday Parking in Downtown Urbana
Enjoy up to 2 hours of free parking Thanksgiving through New Years in the parking garage located at 111 W. Main Street in Downtown Urbana.
Do you know of any other ways the community is encouraging local shopping? Let us know in the comments section!