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Save the Date: Small Business Saturday is November 30!

ChiBizHub Sits Down with the South East Chicago Commission Ahead of Small Business Saturday

Across the U.S. and Chicago, small businesses and local community organizations will be encouraging residents to shop local through promotions and deals during Small Business Saturday on November 30.

American Express created the first Small Business Saturday in 2010 – in the middle of the economic recession, to encourage people to “shop small” and bring more holiday shopping to area small businesses.

Today, many local communities celebrate Small Business Saturday by shopping at area businesses to stimulate a strong local economy.

ChiBizHub, World Business Chicago’s online portal for aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners, sat down with the South East Chicago Commission (SECC) a community-based not-for-profit organization that enhances economic development in Hyde Park, Woodlawn, Washington Park, Kenwood and Oakland to discuss how they’re celebrating and supporting Small Business Saturday.

Q: Why is it important for residents to support businesses in their communities during Small Business Saturday?

A: Shopping locally at small businesses in our neighborhoods helps maintain the diversity of stores on the mid-south side, builds strong neighborhoods, creates jobs, provides funds for more City services through sales tax, and promotes community development. It is important for residents to support the businesses in their community so that the community becomes and remains sustainable. Studies have shown that when residents are invested in their community those areas tend to thrive. An economically viable community generates prosperity and entrepreneurship.

Q: What are some helpful ways for residents to promote Small Business Saturday in their communities?

A: Residents can promote Small Business Saturday through social media, blogs, community newsletters/newspapers, word of mouth and patronizing the businesses on a regular basis, not just on Small Business Saturday, but throughout the year.

Q: Can you provide specific examples of ways members of your organization take advantage of Small Business Saturday?

A: The SECC traditionally plans kick-off events in each of the communities we represent. We encourage businesses to decorate and offer special promotions for their customers. In some cases, we have encouraged businesses to partner with one another to drive customers to each other’s business. We offer an incentive to consumers, to encourage them to shop at the small businesses, to participate in our Small Business Saturday and Shop Local Campaigns, and to submit data for a chance to win a grand prize in our program outreach (last year the winner received a Microsoft Surface Pro). In 2018, we had 53 businesses in seven Southside neighborhoods participate in the campaign! We also partner with organizations such as the Quad Communities Development Corporation (QCDC), and the Washington Park Chamber of Commerce to extend our outreach to as many businesses as we can. It’s really a collective effort between the businesses, economic development partners and the community shopper!

Start planning your holiday shopping list and save the date for Small Business Saturday!

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