Shopping local is not an annual event, nor a novelty. It must be a daily practice that makes our community stronger. We are asking you to put your money where your heart is and support your small, local businesses through the Rogers Park Chamber of Commerce, and the ILove Local initiative.
There are so many ways to support your local businesses, including:
• Stay healthy by staying home! Most importantly, we urge everyone to stay home as much as possible and follow social distancing and health guidelines if you do go out. Not only are you protecting the health of you and your family, but your fellow community members and the employees at your favorite businesses.
• Buy a gift card! Plan your next night out or stock up on gifts! Buy a gift certificate from your favorite local shop, theater, restaurant or service provider to gift to a loved one, or treat yourself later!
• Buy local online! If your favorite restaurant, store or service provider offers online ordering or other virtual ways to support, choose them over giant e-retailers, or reach out to see if you can buy from your favorite store now to pick up later.
• Get social! Follow your favorite local spots on Facebook and Instagram for frequent updates on their health & safety practices, schedule, and events & specials.
• Take virtual classes! If your favorite gym or art or music school is offering virtual classes, sign yourself or your family up for some fun, enriching activities while staying home.
• Keep your memberships! If you have a membership for a gym, music or art classes or other activities, if you are able to do so, please keep your membership even if you can't be there in person.
• Show some love on social! Give your favorite business a positive review on Yelp, Facebook or Google Reviews to lift spirits and their online presence during this time.
• Don't be afraid to reach out! If you're a regular somewhere, stop in, give a call or send an email asking how you can be supportive.
• When ordering takeout or delivery, pay it forward! Order from your favorite restaurants to help keep them afloat, and tip generously to support their employees—every little bit helps during this tough time!
But you can do even more than that. Pay it forward by buying lunch or dinner for healthcare workers or first responders in your community to support local restaurants and the people who serve us all (be sure to call their offices for safety guidelines and make sure it’s okay first!). Buy gift cards from local businesses or restaurants to give to your favorite hospitality workers!
Or do what Common Pantry and local chambers in Chicago did and establish partnerships between local restaurants and your local food pantry, to provide the win-win of feeding your hungry neighbors while generating revenue for local restaurants.