Businesses are hoping shoppers will "hop" locally

By Beau Ebenezer

November 15, 2013 Updated Nov 15, 2013 at 11:55 PM CDT

PEORIA HEIGHTS, Ill. -- Holiday shopping with larger than ever sales and promotions are right around the corner.

But among all of the "in-your-face" deals, how are the small businesses expected to get noticed?

Tanya Neilson, owner of Lost and Found Again, is hoping her unique touch will help her shop get discovered.

"My mom had always said that the best things in life, you have to search for," said Neilson. "When things weren't perfect, she always said you have to hunt for that pearl. So I really hope that people will also step off the beaten path a little bit and come find our little shop."

Neilson's "home-styled" shop is one of a dozen Central Illinois stores that is participating in the 2nd annual "Mom and Pop Shop Hop".

While Neilson's shop may seem hidden off of North Prospect Road in Peoria Heights, she leaves shoppers a creative sign to help them find their way.

Suitcases with her shop's name on them are Neilson's unique way of promotion.

But when it comes to keeping their shoppers coming back each year, all of the local shops agreed that service is key.

"We've got great service and a friendly face," said Relics Store Manager, Laurie Trotter. "We know almost all of our customers by name. We love that, and we love our customers. We have really unique items that you cannot find in other stores and locations."

The participating stores will be open Saturday with some remaining open on Sunday as well.

Shop owners hope the early promotions will steer more customers their way on Small Business Saturday on November 30th.

Here is a list of shops open this weekend:

Picket Fence Floral & Gift, Chillicothe, Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. & Sunday 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Rustic Junktion, East Peoria, Friday 10 a.m. -5 p.m. & Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Emerald Tea Room, East Peoria, times to be determined

Objects, Eureka, Friday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. & Saturday 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Relics, Peoria, Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. & Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Main Statement, Peoria, Friday 10 a.m.-7 a.m. & Saturday 10 a.m.-7 a.m.

Moxies, Peoria, Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. & Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Bricks, Peoria, Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. & Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Pink Sugar, Peoria, Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. & Saturday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Random, Peoria, Friday 10 a.m.-6 p.m. & Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Lost & Found, Peoria Heights, Friday Noon-5 p.m.& Saturday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

Five Daughters & Five Golden Rings Antiques, Washington Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

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