City Champions Shopping Local During the Holiday Season
With an Emphasis on Consumer Awareness, City-Wide Initiatives Encourage Residents and Visitors to Discover Small Businesses Offerings
Elisa Sledzinska 312.744.1973 Elisa.Sledzinska@cityofchicago.org
CHICAGO –Mayor Brandon Johnson and the Chicago Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) come together to celebrate and support Chicago’s collective small business community. As a start to the holiday shopping season, to spur consumer spending at small businesses and enliven commercial corridors across the city, local community and economic development organizations, such as chambers of commerce, will create and host programs, events, and campaigns to encourage residents to shop locally all while making consumer protection a top priority.
“The holiday shopping season brings even more opportunities to champion small businesses and embrace the spirit of shopping locally,” said Mayor Brandon Johnson. “This year and every year, my administration will work with BACP, and in partnership with our business community, to grow our economy, enhance our neighborhoods, and showcase the vibrancy and diversity of our city’s commercial corridors.”
“Supporting local businesses during the holiday season and throughout the year is an opportunity to give back to our communities,” said BACP Commissioner Kenneth J. Meyer. “The purchases made at our small businesses generate economic growth for our whole city. I encourage all Chicagoans to shop local to invest in our workforce and small business community.”
On Saturday, November 25th, to drive economic impact at the local level, Chicago residents and visitors will be encouraged to shop and dine at local small businesses. According to a 2022 Small Business Economic Impact Study, every dollar spent at small businesses creates an additional $0.48 in local business activity. To further the momentum of shopping beyond the holiday season, BACP launched the Shop Local Chicago campaign to highlight the important role small businesses play in Chicago’s neighborhoods. The Shop Local Chicago campaign outlines such benefits as:
- Shopping Experience: Local businesses provide personal attention and are passionate about their products.
- Workforce: Local businesses nationally rank as the largest employers, and they tend to predominantly hire local employees from hire employees from within the community.
- Unique Products: Local businesses often carry inventory not available at national chain stores and tend to work in partnership with other local artisans and craftsmen.
- Local Economy: Local businesses cycle money back into the community through taxes and investments.
- Engagement: Local businesses are known for the support they give to local charities and nonprofits by hosting events and sponsoring fundraisers.
Holiday campaigns produced by the Neighborhood Business Development Centers will serve to boost spending along commercial corridors, spread good cheer, and vibrancy throughout Chicago’s neighborhoods. The programs and events will foster community engagement while showcasing the unique character of the individual communities. All-in- all, a win-win situation where residents get to enjoy both a festive atmosphere and show support for their favorite local businesses; a collective effort to celebrate our small businesses ecosystem.
“We look forward to bringing residents and visitors together during the holiday shopping season with our upcoming events,” said Jamie Berten, Executive Director of the Mt. Greenwood Community and Business Association (MGCBA). "One of our holiday events in Mount Greenwood is our Holiday Stroll on Friday, December 1st. Participating businesses down our 111th Business District will have a variety of special offers, activities, raffles, holiday characters, carolers and a real live reindeer! This event is a community and business favorite!"
"Our events reflect our dedication to cultivate and nurture Chicago’s local small businesses as the holiday shopping season proves to be a catalyst for economic growth,” said John Blick, Director of Business Services at the Uptown Chamber of Commerce. "We are proud to bring back our Winter Walk on Wilson, which will take place on Friday, December 1st. This event features an art market in the historic Wilson Red Line station at Wilson and Broadway. The goal is to bring awareness to the local consumer about the businesses located in Uptown and encourage them to support the businesses that are a part of their community."
As the year comes to a close, BACP reminds businesses and consumers to be diligent about their rights and responsibilities regardless of whether shopping in-person or online. The BACP Be Informed. Be Protected. campaign provides consumers with a wide array of tips. Learn more by visiting Chicago.gov/ConsumerProtection. As a resource, on Tuesday, November 7th at 10:00 a.m., BACP will host a webinar titled, “'Tis the Season to be Cautious.” The webinar will provide information on current scams and how to avoid being a target. To register, visit Chicago.gov/BusinessEducation.
Additionally, the BACP Ride Smart Chicago public awareness campaign provides safety and consumer awareness information for passengers of taxicabs, ride-hail, and other public passenger vehicles. Visit Chicago.gov/RideSmart for tips, including how to spot licensed versus unlicensed taxicabs.
For current and future small business owners looking for support, BACP offers essential resources to support all small business owners as they navigate their entrepreneurial journeys. For more information on BACP’s programs and services, visit Chicago.gov/BACP.