Champaign Center join


‘Tis the season for holiday shopping! We all know it’s easy to shop and ship online from the comfort of your couch, but the benefits to the community (and to you directly!) when you get out and shop at one of our vibrant and unique local businesses are endless!


1. Keep Money in Your Local Economy

For every $100 you spend at a local business, $68 stays in the community. Compare that to the $0 that comes back to our community when you buy from a store not located in our city.


2. Create Jobs for your Neighbors

Local businesses create jobs for your neighbors! The more you shop at local businesses, the more your neighbors will benefit with employment opportunities that stay right here in Champaign.


3. Be a Happier Person

There is a social benefit to getting out of the house and meeting local merchants. Studies show getting out and speaking to a stranger when you’re out shopping actually makes you happier! The study, found that “people who were randomly assigned to turn this economic transaction into a quick social interaction left Starbucks in a better mood. And they even felt a greater sense of belonging in their community.” What a great excuse to get to know your local small business owners and neighbors!


4. Nurture Your Community

We know you, and you know us. Studies have shown that local businesses donate to community causes at more than twice the rate of non-local businesses!


5. Conserve Your Tax Dollars

Shopping in local business districts means fewer infrastructures, less maintenance, and more money available to beautify your community. Also, spending locally instead of online ensures that your sales tax dollars are reinvested where they belong – right back into our community!


6. Create More Choice

Local businesses pick the items they sell based on what we know you like and want. Local businesses carry a wider array of unique products because they are buying and designing their menus and inventory with their C-U specific individual market in mind! Who doesn’t like personalized merchandise?



7. Invest in Entrepreneurship

Creativity and entrepreneurship are the bedrock of the American economy. Nurturing and supporting local business ensures a strong community and allows great new ideas and concepts to thrive.


8. Make C-U a Destination

They call Champaign-Urbana “Outside of Ordinary” for good reason! The more interesting and unique we are as a community, the more we will attract new neighbors, visitors, and guests, making Downtown, Midtown, and Campustown stronger.


9. Get Locally-Sourced Products

By shopping at local vendors at locations such as the Champaign Farmers Market and Central Illinois Bakehouse, you have access to the freshest and most local goods (The Champaign Farmers market allows you to pick up veggies, fruits, honey, meat, baked goods, and more all grown, raised, or produced within 150 miles of Champaign!)


10. Get Some Steps for the Day

For those of you looking to get 10,000 steps for your Apple Watch or FitBit: walking around Downtown, Midtown, and Campustown can get you a great workout! Park your car in Downtown and make your way through the districts. Start at the Orpheum Children’s Museum and take a fun, 30 minute stroll down to the Illini Union Bookstore and you’ll log 1.5 miles (That’s 3,000 steps!)


Plan your day shopping through Champaign Center and find some great local retail, food, and drink. Join us on Saturday, December 14 for the first Champaign Center Holiday Shop & Stroll Event featuring discounts, sales, promos, treats, gift wrapping, and fun from 1-5 p.m. More info here. Happy Shopping!

By Melinda Sevilla, Contributing Writer