CARBONDALE -- Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is encouraging residents to shop at local businesses for holiday gifts this year.
The Democrat from Carbondale is among those promoting Small Business Saturday, an effort to stimulate local economies and celebrate small businesses. It's held each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving -- one day after the traditional Black Friday sales.
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Simon says it's even more important to focus on local economies this year because several communities are trying to rebuild following recent tornadoes and severe storms.
In a press release, she says "Buying locally keeps money in our communities and helps our economies grow."
The Small Business Association says small businesses in Illinois employ more than 2 million workers.