Just in time for Small Business Saturday, the Illinois Office of Tourism has released its annual Illinois Made Holiday Gift Guide featuring one-of-a-kind products by small businesses around Illinois, with several distinct offerings from southern Illinois.
All products featured this year 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.
"All across the state, thousands of small businesses play an essential role in our communities as well as the economy. As the pandemic looms large this year, we are encouraging residents to consider supporting small and local in their holiday shopping plans," said Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Development (DCEO) Director Erin Guthrie.
"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 southern Illinois entries in the guide are:
• Pomona Winery: Specializing in wines made from locally grown fruits other than grapes, Pomona Winery is an out-of-the-box gift for wine connoisseurs to sip on this season. Popular flavors for online purchase and delivery include "Once in a Blue Moon" blueberry dessert wine and Jonathan -- a semi-dry crisp wine made with Jonathan apples (approximately $15 per bottle).
• C's Bees Honey & More, Anna: Honey products made with locally sourced southern Illinois honey. Popular items include salted honey caramels ($10), honey jam ($6), honey soap ($9), lotion bars ($6) and handmade beeswax candles ($13).
• The Chocolate Factory in Golconda: Offering a wide variety of chocolates and sugar free items like sugar free almond bark, raisin clusters and terrapins ($20 each).
• Warm N' Cozy Quilting, Columbia: Find a cozy, new hobby while spending more time at home this season by making a quilt of your own with holiday-themed fabric (approximately $12 per yard).
• Grafton Winery & Brewhaus: Specializing in wine for all seasons, order decadent dry reds and semisweet wine made near the confluence of the Illinois and Mississippi rivers to enjoy at home this winter ($15-30 per bottle).
Launched in 2016, the Illinois Made program promotes authentic travel experiences throughout the state and encourages visitors to discover hidden gems off-the-beaten path.
To learn more about the Illinois Made program and how to support small businesses around Illinois this year, visit EnjoyIllinois.com.
• To visit the whole gift guide, visit www.enjoyillinois.com/illinois-made/2020-holiday-gift-guide.