Sarah LoBue, Main Street Florist in Carlinville, accepts the award for Illinois Local Ambassador. LoBue said “The best part? Being surrounded by other small businesses who support each other and cheer each other on like these amazing woman pictured!” Pictured L-R: Holly Crowe (Crowe Boot and Shoe), Sarah LoBue, Marcy Welsh (Collected Boutique) and Karin Doolin, (OOAK?/fair triade merchandise). All of these businesses are based in Carlinville.

BUZZ MAGAZINE - Five businesses were recognized at the second annual Illinois Local Conference and Awards on September 12.

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This year’s Illinois Local Awards were sponsored by the local independent insurance company, Troxell.

Multiple businesses were nominated for awards in four categories and the finalists/winners were:

Illinois Local Ambassador:

True Colors Floral

One Knotty Maker

Main Street Florist (winner)

Blessings on State Street Bed & Breakfast

Illinois Local Best Use of Social Media:

One Knotty Maker (winner)

Sangamon Reclaimed

1221 Photography

Brooke Elizabeth Photography

Illinois Local Community Hero:

Smart Owl Coffee

Springfield Art Association

Fed Kitchen (winner)

Buzz Bomb Brewing

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Illinois Local Business of the Year:

Incredibly Delicious (winner)

The Storyteller Studios (winner)

Meraki Salon and Spa

Collected Boutique

Chief Experience Officer at Troxell, Alysse Aiello Hewell, said it was an honor to sponsor the annual Illinois Local Awards again. “We know how hard local businesses must work to compete in today’s marketplace, no matter what type of business you are in,” she said. “We are proud to support and recognize the winners in each category who go above and beyond to grow their local businesses."

Springfield based Fed Kitchen won the Illinois Local Community Hero Award. Fed Kitchen offers delicious, pre-ordered meal prep weekly to Springfield & Bloomington IL.

Illinois Local co-founder, Gemma Long, thanked this year’s conference speakers.

“Kevin Lust of the SBDC, Celeste and Brennan Malham of Fed Kitchen, Zach Adams of 1221 Photography, and filmmaker Lydia Stuemke all contributed to a very successful event,” she said.

“Many thanks also to Troxell for sponsoring our awards again, to Three Twigs Bakery for the pastries, Smart Owl Coffee for providing beverages, True Colors Floral for the flowers, our hosts, The Grant Conservatory of Music & Dance, and our members for participating in a fantastic celebration of local independent businesses in Illinois,” said Gemma.

The Illinois Local awards were handmade by potter Rosie Gale of Ceramics Made by Rosie in Springfield, Illinois.

“We wanted to present this year’s recipients with an award they would proudly display in their businesses and cherish for years to come,” said Illinois Local co-founder, Chris Long. “Locally made pitchers and tumblers by Rosie, with the Illinois Local stamp, were a perfect choice.”

Incredibly Delicious, a French inspired bakery and cafe in Springfield, shared the Illinois Local Business of the Year Award with The Storyteller Studios.

Established in December 2020, Illinois Local is a membership of 200 local independent businesses from across the state with the mission to support, grow, and celebrate together. Activities not only include the conference and awards, but also the annual Illinois Local Holiday Market on Small Business Saturday.

Nominated for Illinois Local Best Use of Social Media, 1221 Photography Zach Adams talked about the importance of great photography for use with business advertising. All photos courtesy of Zach Adams, 1221 Photography.

“Now that we’ve had our annual celebration, it’s time to gear up for our biggest event of the year,” said Chris. “Our annual Illinois Local Holiday Market on November 26, 2022, at the Expo Building at the Illinois State Fairgrounds from 9 am to 3 pm.”

Entry to the Illinois Local Holiday Market is $1 for 18-and-over. Children are FREE.

“This is a family event, with everyone of all ages welcome, a fantastic way to kick off the holidays, and to support local independent businesses from across Illinois,” said Chris. “We hope to see you there!”

For more information about Illinois Local or to register as a vendor for the annual Illinois Local Holiday Market on Small Business Saturday, November 26, visit www.illinoislocal.org.

This story originally ran in the October 2022 issue of The Prairie Land Buzz Magazine http://www.thebuzzmonthly.com.

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