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AURORA, Ill. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses have pooled together resources to stay afloat.

Several of those businesses operate as the ‘Cotton Seed Creative Exchange’ in downtown Aurora, which supports local artists and creators from around the area with a large availability of local artwork.

“We basically come together and do the things we like to do and the things that mean the most for us,” owner Yvonne Toney said.

Among the businesses is skin care line Tendaji Body Oils, made mostly from ingredients grown in owner Carla Tate Anderson’s garden.

The business has been in Anderson’s family for four years, and aims to produce natural, plant-based oils.

Other products featured at the exchange include Bamenda Coffee, started by an 18-year-old from Hyde Park, a coloring book made by a local artist and t-shirts of street art creations.

Black Angel Designs is another business operating out of the exchange, offering a unique line of products for all things Chicago, inspired by hours of research.

The exchange is located at 8 North Broadway, Aurora, Illinois 60505, and more information can be found on their website.