SPRINGFIELD - With only a couple weeks left until Christmas, business owners from Springfield to Decatur are urging you to shop and buy local.
"Just keeping a small business going is tough," said Mick Wanless, owner of Westwoods Lodge in Springfield. "The locals are struggling with the chains coming to Springfield." Springfield merchants are doing what they can to attract customers to locally owned businesses, calling them the bedrock of the city's economy.
"All of that money stays here," said Sheri Koch of Jeffrey Alan's.
In Decatur, similar sentiments are being expressed.
Recently, the city held its annual "Christmas Walk," an event designed to keep money local. Decatur businesses opened their doors for extended hours on December 5th to show residents what they had to offer. There is evidence it's working; a number of businesses have reported increased traffic. Local business owners say by shopping locally, the money helps keep local people employed and the businesses thriving.