Shop Small Campaign Helps Businesses, Neighborhood

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NEIGHBORHOOD REWARD PROGRAM OFFERS CHANCE TO WIN $50 GIFT CERTIFICATE!

A new program that encourages consumers to “shop small” is giving Beverly/Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood residents another great reason to spend their money locally this holiday season. The Shop Small Chicago Neighborhood Rewards program provides shoppers who spend $300 or more at independently owned small businesses in the 19th Ward an opportunity to win a $50 gift card for a business in the community.

The Neighborhood Rewards program kicked off on Nov. 26 and runs through Dec. 24. To be eligible, shoppers must spend $300 or more, not including tax or gratuity, at a minimum of three businesses, with at least $25 spent at each business. Expenditures for medication and membership cannot be applied and a maximum of $100 can be spent on alcohol and groceries. Once $300 in purchases is made, participants submit a copy of the receipts, along with their name, address, phone number and e-mail address, to one of two local drop-off locations (see addresses below). Only one submission per person is allowed, and gift cards are available on a first-come-first-served basis while supplies last. Gift cards will be distributed by Feb. 3.

Tied to Small Business Saturday, a national campaign created in 2010 by American Express, the Shop Small Chicago Neighborhood Rewards program is sponsored by the city of Chicago and a coalition comprised of national, state and local organizations, including Women Impacting Public Policy, the 95th Street Business Association, the Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association, the Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association and the Beverly Area Planning Association.

These neighborhood organizations are working together to promote Small Business Saturday as a day to support the local businesses that are essential to preserving the unique culture and charm of the Beverly/Morgan Park and Mt. Greenwood neighborhoods. The benefits of shopping locally include:

More money in the local economy. On average, $68 of every $100 spent at a locally owned business stays in the community versus $43 for the same $100 spent at a national retailer. In addition, independent businesses employ more people directly per dollar of revenue than their national competitors; in turn, their employees contribute to the local economy by purchasing goods and services at the businesses located near their place of employment.

Helping the environment. Shopping locally conserves fuel consumption, reduces packaging and limits urban sprawl and the resultant demand on roads, sewers and other infrastructure.

Economic development and financial growth. Independent businesses bring vibrancy and personality to neighborhoods, making them destinations for both residents and visitors. When business districts flourish, they attract more development, which leads to an increase in property values, per capita income growth and the prosperity of local organizations.

Building better communities. Small business owners are neighbors and friends who have made a significant financial investment in the communities in which they live. Shopping small supports entrepreneurship and innovation, fosters good will and creates a personal connection between consumers and merchants that is often lacking in corporate America.

Mail or drop-off a copy of receipts to: Beverly Area Planning Association, 1987 W. 111th St., Chicago, IL 60643 or Mount Greenwood Community and Business Association c/o Chicago Lockbox, 3400 W. 111th St., Chicago, IL 60655

(Note: For more information about the Shop Small Chicago Neighborhood Rewards program, contact Morgan Park Beverly Hills Business Association Executive Director Caroline Connors at 773-779-2530 or cconnors918@gmail.com.)