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The Illinois Office of Tourism has released its annual Illinois Made Holiday Gift Guide featuring one-of-a-kind products by small businesses around the state.

All products are available for online purchase, with some accommodating curbside pickup, as part of a broader effort by the state of Illinois to encourage safe holiday shopping and support of small, local businesses as public health mitigations remain in effect. Just in time for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 28, the guide seeks to give shoppers new and original ideas for the 2020 holiday shopping season.

“All across the state, thousands of small businesses play an essential role in our communities as well as the economy," Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development Director Erin Guthrie said. "As the pandemic looms large this year, we are encouraging residents to consider supporting small and local in their holiday shopping plans. The businesses featured in this year’s Holiday Gift Guide are among the many Illinois businesses who are stepping up in new ways to pivot their operations to new online formats, putting great products and services within reach for new and existing customers, while protecting staff and their communities during this unprecedented time.”

The guide features arange of businesses — including those producing everything from gourmet chocolates and handmade skin care products, to coffee and candles. This year’s gift guide features products from 19 businesses included as part of the Illinois Made program– an initiative that recognizes the contributions of iconic local businesses representing communities across the state. The guide will provide shoppers a chance to experience the state through its small businesses, offering products found only in Illinois.

“Small businesses play a significant role in driving tourism to our Illinois communities and boosting the state’s economy,” said Karla Flannery, deputy director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “This year’s Illinois Made Gift Guide is a helpful resource to support local small businesses during this challenging time. We hope shoppers will use the guide to discover authentic products made right in their Illinois back yard, providing another reason to shop and visit in person when it is safe to do so.”

The businesses provide online shopping options, with some providing contact-free curbside pickup. With the latest public health guidance encouraging residents and visitors to stay home as much as possible, these offerings are critical for shoppers this holiday season.

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