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Illinois officials urged support of local businesses and products Wednesday by promoting "Shop Illinois Saturday" Oct. 4.

The initiative is part of the state Department of Agriculture's Illinois Products Program. It forges a partnership with six communities - Springfield, Carbondale, Alton, Genoa, Pontiac and Canton - which are part of the Illinois Main Street program, a co-sponsor.

Gov. Pat Quinn said in a prepared statement that shopping locally is "what good neighbors do."

The effort by state officials is part of the "Buy Illinois Challenge" to boost the state economy and generate awareness of Illinois-made products. The program encourages every Illinois household to pledge to dedicate $10 of its existing weekly budget to purchasing Illinois products.

If every household took the $10 pledge, it would mean a $2.4 billion "re-investment" annually in the Illinois economy, the Agriculture Department said.

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