Now that November is here, consumers are starting their Christmas shopping! As hard as it may be to think about, Black Friday is right around the corner!

Smart shoppers will think of a particular gift for a friend or family member and look around to find the best price for that particular item. Sometimes it is cheaper to head to Walmart or another nationwide franchise. But for many shoppers, purchasing gifts at a locally owned or small business is important to them.

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“Each year, our economy becomes more global and our buying choices have a greater impact on our everyday life,” said Cheyanne Klein, a keen shopper from Alton. “Shopping at a local business is a way to have a direct impact on our lives, not for someone in a big corporate office in Arkansas or in another country. Support the locally owned businesses feeds directly into the economy right here in our own neighborhood.”

Small Business Saturday, a nation-wide movement founded by American Express in 2010, encourages consumers to shop at small businesses on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, that day is November 29. So if you didn’t get enough shopping in on Black Friday, be sure to partake in Small Business Saturday!

With the help from Klein and other members of the community, has formed a list of businesses in the local area that have great ideas for gifts of all shapes sizes and prices:

- Alton Antique Center, at 401 E Broadway in Alton, has collectibles from all around the world. They have been in the area for 28 years and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9am-5pm.

-Maneke Jewelers Inc., located at 1633 Washington Ave. in Alton, has been voted the best jewelry store in Madison County. Founded in 1946, Maneke Jewelers offers a full service jewelry repair, watch repair, pearl and bead stringing, engraving and much more; perfect gift ideas. See for more information.

- Alton Stained Glass Works teaches art classes which can be a fun gift for friends and family. The shop just opened a new Tea Room and will soon be offering wine by the glass. A night or weekend in the Bed & Breakfast, Tiffany Inn, is also a great holiday gift idea! Alton Stained Glassworks is located at 412 E. Broadway, see for details.

- B & B Custom T’s is a customization business that has been around for over 25 years. Almost anything can be personalized here, adding a touch of special individualism to any gift! Navigate through an unlimited amount of gift ideas or come on in at 2714 Corner Court in Alton.

- Chocolate Air specializes in chocolates and cakes, artistically decorated right there in the shop located at 3306 Godfrey Road. Edible gifts are always a sure thing! Chocolate Air also has a passion for antiques and collectibles, sold at a reasonable price. Edibles and antiques inventory can be found at

-The Historic Museum of Torture Devices will offer a discount coupon for the Mineral Springs Haunted Tours with all paid museum admissions in honor of Small Business Saturday. The coupon is good for $5.00 off a Mineral Springs Walking or Cemetery Tour, or $10.00 off a Haunted Overnight. Both the Museum and the Haunted Tours are located in the Mineral Springs Mall at 301 E. Broadway, Alton, Il. 62002 The mall will also hold an indoor "liquidation sale" in the Crystal Room of items from a resale store that closed. Sale begins at 10am and ends at 4pm both days. The antique and collectibles stores in the mall will have special sales.\

- hazel2blue is a clothing and accessories store located at 2521 State St. that specializes in trendy fashion for women from late teens on up! The store will have Black Friday sales and customer giveaways, so stop on in on your route around town on your big shopping day. “The earlier you shop, the more $$ you will save,” said hazel2blue owner, Cam LuCasey. For looks and inventory, see, Nov 29.

- Olive Oil Marketplace is a gourmet kitchen store that offers over 60 flavors of Olive Oil and Balsamic vinaigrettes, fun gadgets, loose tea, flavored coffee beans and many more creative gist ideas for those who love to be in the kitchen!  Olive Oil Marketplace will have specials on both Black Friday and Small Business Saturday and will be open from 10AM to 6PM. Friday, the Marketplace will have Door Buster Deals from 2-4, 30% off Cake Boss and Bake Ware, 20% off salt blocks for grilling and even more In-Store Specials on Saturday! For the next couple weeks, Olive Oil Marketplace is also offering 15% off any regular priced item for those who donate a $10 gift to the Hope Center’s Toy Donation Box located in the front of the store. Call (618) 304-3769 or check out for more information.

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- Mosaics Fine Home Fashions, located at 110 W. 3rd St., is a unique, European style boutique that carries trendy, affordable women’s fashion items such as hats, scarves, jewelry and even home décor. The boutique is open 7 days a week and even in the evenings. All fashion boutique items are always BOGO (Buy one get one 50% off).

- Mississippi Mud Pottery is offering 10% off all in-stock merchandise for Small Business Saturday.

- Gentelin’s on Broadway is allowing anyone who comes in to dine on Small Business Saturday to enter to win a complementary dinner for two! The restaurant is also selling gift cards that day for 10% off.

- Even Argosy Casino is having “Fall for Fun Giveaway” every Saturday in November from 3PM-9PM. 5 winners every hour will have the chance to win iPad Minis, designer purses, $250 Visa Gift Cards and up to $1,000 in Free Slotplay!

- Aunt Sha’s Cottage Furniture is located at 307 E. Broadway in Alton and is offering 10% off furniture and 20% off knick-knacks throughout the store for Small Business Saturday.

- When you feel like it’s time for a break, stop in My Just Desserts on Small Business Saturday! They are offering a great sale on the best pie in town, buy one piece of pie and get the second one for half price!

- The Grapevine on Broadway in Alton is offering 20% off storewide.

- Jacoby Arts Center is offering 10% off items in The Artist Shop and members receive an additional 10% off.

- Dance Things and More’s leotards are 10% off on Small Business Saturday

- Real Deals on Home Décor, located on 237 E. Delmar Road in Alton, would like to offer 15% off your favorite item. They offer a huge variety of clocks, mirrors, lamps, canvas art, accent furniture, Christmas decoration for any home and many other home décor. This does exclude all sales items. 




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