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Monday, Dec. 7, 2009 11:15 am

Who is going to win the $1000???

This holiday season we each have a special opportunity to do some extra good - by buying all our holiday gifts at local stores, restaurants and such. Our  local independent merchants have had one heckuva hard year -  a successful Christmas season could make all the difference for them.   That's why the Capital Area Independent Business Alliance introduced the KEEP YOUR MONEY HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS campaign several weeks ago ... to encourage everyone to eat, drink, shop and think LOCAL FIRST.

How about buying friends or coworkers a gift card for lunch or dinner?   We have such a great selection of local restaurants around town ...    From Maya Fusion to Maldaner's, Augie's to Amber Jack - a gift card to treat a friend or coworker to lunch or dinner at a local restaurant is a present that does double duty:  your friend will love it AND you'll be helping a local restaurant owner succeed.   (and let's face it:  no one will have to make a return.) 

Shopping for fresh fixin's for a holiday party?   You have lots of choices that won't take you anywhere near a 'big box' grocery.   How about some beautiful fresh shrimp from Robert's Seafood ... or a crown roast from Country Market or fresh ham from Humphrey's . Try Food Fantasies if free-range chicken is more up your alley.

If you prefer the artsy presents what about heading over to the gallery at the Prairie Art Alliance or the Illinois State Museum gift shop -- or downtown to the Studio on Sixth or the Blue Door --- each sells the handcrafted work of Illinois artisans.   Each would love to help you something just right the for person on your shopping list.

There are independent local businesses in every neighborhood around town - visit the CAIBA website (www.iBuySpi.com) and look for the list of local independent businesses in the capital city area.      And while you're there don't forget to take the SHOP LOCAL FIRST pledge and register in the KEEP YOUR MONEY HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS SWEEPSTAKES.   Some lucky local shopper is going to walk away with $1000 on December 16 - it might as well be you, right?

Happy holidays!

Please share your local business news and comments.  Write to us at capcitybizbuzz@illinoistimes.com

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