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Local businesses hope for strong turnout on Small Business Saturday

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — At the Edgebrook Shopping Center a tradition will carry on this year with some tweaks. Tomorrow begins the first day of Cider 'N Cinnamon.

"It's a 45 year tradition," says Edgebrook Marketing and Events Coordinator Sandy Dingus.

The event brings together a number of vendors at the shopping center. This year they'll be set up inside vacant storefronts. The booths will be spaced to allow social distancing and doors will remain open for ventilation. Organizers say masks will be required and the number of people inside will be monitored to adhere to safe protocols amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We will have 37 talented artisans and crafters that are selling handmade unique gift items," says Dingus.

The event would typically take place on one weekend but this year it's spread out over four. The hope is these weekends will not only bring sales for the vendors, but increase sales at the brick and mortar shops and restaurants.

"We understand what they've gone through with the shutdown and trying to reopen and the constant challenges they have with the changing mitigations," says Dingus. "It's made it difficult on them."

One Rockford company says it's looking forward to the holiday shopping scene, especially after it received a shoutout in a statewide guidebook.

"We're really just honored to be included in the Illinois Made Gift Guide," says Fire Department Coffee Owner Luke Schneider. "And to be a Rockford made company."

Fire Department Coffee's spot on the Illinois Made Gift Guide is a boost not only for its holiday sales, but hopefully a step toward building a bigger customer base.

"Getting a link from their site to our site helps us build our domain authority and helps our website rank more and Google shows more people.," says Schneider. "So it's not just the right now, it's the long-term as well."

If you're looking for more information on Cider 'N Cinnamon, like a list of vendors, click here. If you're interested in Fire Department Coffee, click here.

Mary Sugden

Mary Sugden is the Investigative Reporter at WREX. She joined the team in December 2014 as the evening producer. In 2015 she made the move to evening reporter before joining the 13 Investigates team in May of 2018.

She grew up in Woodstock, Illinois and graduated from Woodstock High School in 2009. Mary graduated with a degree in Journalism and Marketing from Loyola University Chicago in 2013.

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