Business owners say recent push for small business markets help local economy

PEORIA (HOI) – Since March last year there has been greater pressure to shop locally and small. Now Central Illinois has seen a resurgence in farmers markets to support even the smallest of businesses.

The CEO of the Minority Business Development Center, Denise Moore, organized the Outdoor Marketplace to showcase minority-owned companies in the area.

She wasn’t alone with the urge to shop locally. East Peoria has several markets throughout the week as well as Peoria.

Moore said people used to really only be here from Riverfront Market in Peoria, but there has been a shift since the pandemic.

“If you can employ people in their own communities, in thriving businesses, it keeps the dollar circulating and improves economic opportunities for everyone in that community,” said Moore.

Real estate developer Katie Kim is the organizer of the Keller Station farmers market, which takes place every Wednesday. She said they chose a day of the week instead of a weekend to give sellers and customers more options.

“We really wanted to make it a destination for the little vendors who knew they were in Knoxville or a high-traffic area where many farmers can’t,” said Kim Group CEO Katie Kim.

Kim hoped companies would be able to connect with their customers to ensure they succeeded in the colder months with no outdoor events.

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