CHICAGO - The Illinois Office of Tourism today announced 31 new small businesses, or ‘makers,’ have been recognized by the Illinois Made program. Illinois Made inspires locals and visitors to discover hidden gems offering unique products, stories and experiences all around the state. The newest Illinois Made class features 17 women-owned businesses - the most in a single Illinois Made class since the program’s beginning. Two of the businesses are located in ILLINOISouth's territory - The Chocolate Affair in Highland, and Rolling Lawns Farm in Greenville.
“Our small businesses are the backbone of Illinois’ economy, which is why it’s now more important than ever that we celebrate their role given the challenges faced during COVID-19,” said Erin B. Guthrie, Director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), which includes the Illinois Office of Tourism. “On behalf of the Pritzker administration, I am thrilled to welcome the newest makers into the Illinois Made program, and to recognize them for their vital contributions in communities across the state. While COVID-19 has placed unprecedented challenges on businesses of all types, DCEO continues to work diligently to direct emergency aid to all corners of the state and to help small firms and entrepreneurs to pivot and protect their business during these trying times.”
Launched in 2016, Illinois Made spotlights the people, products and experiences authentic to Illinois and inspires residents and visitors to explore these iconic destinations when traveling the state, or in their own backyard. The program, which currently features over 175 makers, helps drive foot traffic into local businesses around the state. The Illinois Office of Tourism promotes Illinois Made makers through inclusion in trip itineraries, events, seasonal campaigns and the annual Illinois Made Holiday Gift Guide –encouraging consumers to support small businesses throughout the holiday shopping season– to be announced later this month.
“It’s truly an honor to be recognized alongside so many other incredible Illinois small businesses,” said Crystal Housman, owner of C’s Bees Honey & More in Anna, one of the newest Illinois Made makers in southern Illinois. “Like many other small business owners, I’ve faced a lot of hurdles throughout the pandemic, but I look forward to the support and sense of community that the Illinois Made program will provide for my business in the months and years to come.”
“Our new class of makers is a remarkable reflection of the multicultural diversity found all around Illinois,” said Karla Flannery, Deputy Director of the Illinois Office of Tourism. “We are honored to welcome such a talented group of makers that are destinations within their communities and we look forward to highlighting their craft, history and unique experience to locals and visitors alike.”
Latest makers to join the list include (asterisks indicate women-owned businesses):
Chicago & Surrounding Areas
Barnstormer Distillery - Rockford
Broken Brix Home Brew Shop - St. Charles
Danche Custom Guitars - Forest Park
Edgewater Candles - Chicago
Fire Department Coffee - Rockford
Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery – Flossmoor
Funky Rooster Tattoo & Art Gallery - Elgin*
Gina’s Italian Ice - Berwyn*
Hearth & Hammer General - Batavia*
Hollingworth Candies - Lockport*
Justice of the Pies - Chicago*
Kribi Coffee Air Roasters - Forest Park
Maple Leaf Coffee Roasters - Roselle*
MASHALLAH - Chicago*
Richardson Adventure Farm - Spring Grove*
Scratch Goods - Chicago*
Star Union Spirits - Peru
Sue Regis Glass Art - Joliet*
The Milk House - Pingree Grove*
Virtue Restaurant - Chicago
Wild Blossom Meadery - Chicago
Northwest & West Illinois
Kennay Farms Distilling - Rochelle*
Knox County Brewing - Galesburg*
Triple Dipples - Chillicothe
Village Bakery - Oregon
Mad Goat Coffee - Danville
Rolling Lawns Farm - Greenville
The Chocolate Affair – Highland*
C’s Bees Honey & More - Anna*
The Chocolate Factory - Golconda*
Pomona Winery - Pomona*
The Illinois Office of Tourism (IOT) hosts a portal and encourages residents to nominate businesses for the Illinois Made program on a year-round basis. IOT reviews nominations and selects businesses based on the criteria for the program along with local business representation across the state. To view the Illinois Made criteria and nominate a business for the program, click here.
For images of the new Illinois Made makers click here. To learn more about Illinois Made visit: EnjoyIllinois.com/IllinoisMade.
About the Illinois Office of Tourism:
In 2019, the Illinois Office of Tourism welcomed a record 120 million visitors from around the world, resulting in nearly $43.1 billion in visitor spending and powering over 344,100 jobs statewide.
The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism manages industry efforts that result in sustainable and significant economic and quality-of-life benefits for Illinois residents.