So you've done the mall thing, and you still want to get your shop on.
Or, you're the type who avoids North Prospect Avenue this time of year.
Either way, local business owners are hoping you don't forget them this weekend.
Business groups and owners have partnered together to market this Saturday as Shop Local Saturday (Downtown Champaign, Midtown and Campustown) and Local Business Saturday (Urbana).
The Champaign Center Partnership organization launched last fall to promote businesses in the three business districts of Downtown Champaign, Midtown and Campustown, and this is its first attempt at a "shop local" event, said T.J. Blakeman, the organization's director and a city of Champaign planner.
"We're not trying to make this into a national versus independent," kind of event, Blakeman said. When you shop at a big box retailer, you're still contributing to the local economy with sales tax dollars being funneled to help schools and build roads, he said.
"But our local business owners have invested their lives into their businesses. They're your neighbors," he said.
In Urbana they're calling the event Small Business Saturday, tagged to the American Express initiative being held around the country. The organization sent emails out this week detailing various deals being offered by retailers. (Heartland Gallery in downtown Urbana, for example, will not only offer discounts ranging from 10 percent to 20 percent, but hot apple cider for shoppers.)
"Our goal is to get as many people to shop here in Urbana as we can, to bring in more awareness to what's here. There's a lot to offer here in Urbana," said Urbana Business Association Executive Director Cynthia Johnson.
As for Shop Local Saturday details, a sales flyer, inserted into Thursday's News-Gazette, highlights the variety of discounts and events being offered.
"We're also bringing Santa back downtown (Champaign) for the first time in a long time. He'll be at the (Champaign County) Convention and Visitors Bureau from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday" at 108 S. Neil St., Blakeman said. Look for him in the plush chair next to the fireplace.
On Saturday, parents can drop off their kids, for a fee, at the SoDo Theater/Class Act Interactive, 114 S. Neil St., They'll work on some crafts and play games while the adults go shopping. Other events include movies being screened at The Art and Viriginia, carolers walking and sing throughout downtown and Campustown throughout the day, and more.
More information about events and deals is available at champaigncenter.com and urbanabusiness.com.
Minta Herold, assistant manager of Ten Thousand Villages in downtown Champaign said she was optimistic for sales on Saturday because "there's so much going on that day and with the parade happening at night." The store was offering a sale for customers to buy one piece of jewelry and get a second at half off.
"This year it seems like a lot of people are aware of buying locally. There's a national push," Herold said.
In Champaign the day will culminate with the Parade of Lights through downtown Champaign. Blakeman said the parade will go on if it's drizzling rain, but a heavy, widespread rain could cancel the event. A rain date would be announced, though.
Shop Local deals will be on, rain or shine, he said.