Peoria (Ill.) Mayor Jim Ardis didn’t just honor Lippmann’s Furniture & Interiors with a proclamation recognizing its 70 years in business Sept. 24. He spoke to the importance to the community of a long-time local business in an era when so many people shop online.
“For us to still have this quality store that you can walk in and actually see the product, test the product, and ask their consultants about the quality of the furniture and how it’s made and so on, we’re very fortunate,” Ardis said about the Home Furnishings Association member. “And, as we continue to talk in our community about the importance of shopping local 365 days a year, there’s no better example of the kind of company that we need to remember as a company that’s been established and been a good partner back to the community for all these years.”
City Council member Denis Cyr added that Lippmann’s has “generated a tremendous amount of sales taxes for the city of Peoria and a tremendous amount of real-estate taxes for the city of Peoria, and because they are a job creator they have generated a lot of income for the citizens of Peoria.”
Lippmann’s co-owner Mike Wiesehan, addressing the audience at a City Council meeting, spoke about some of the tax implications of shopping online.
“I don’t know how many of you really realize, every time you buy something on the internet, 3 percent of that sales tax automatically goes to the city of Chicago. The city of Peoria gets three-quarters of one percent. OK? Stay local, shop local!”
M. Walter Lippmann established Lippmann’s in Peoria in October 1949, but the business was founded much earlier in his native Germany. Today it’s owned by his daughter, Inge Wiesehan, and grandchildren, Mike Wiesehan and Kathy Wiesehan Crank.
“My sister and I, we are the fifth generation in the business,” Mike said. “My mom, I call her the half. We had two-and-a-half generations in Germany and two-and-a-half generations in the United States. My mom was the half because she was born there.”
He hopes there are more generations in Peoria.
“We appreciate everything the city has done for us,” Mike said. “We’re going to continue to stay in business as long as we can, with your support.”
Support from Peoria will be returned to the city. That’s what local furniture retailers like Lippmann’s do.