Buy Local Campaign Aims to Retain Millions in the Chicago Economy

"Unwrap Chicago: Eat, Drink & Buy Local" inspires Chicagoans to exercise their power to strengthen the local economy.

Nov 20, 2012, 14:58 ET from Local First Chicago

CHICAGO, Nov. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- "Unwrap Chicago: Eat, Drink & Buy Local" is a citywide Buy Local campaign coordinated by Local First Chicago in partnership with the Office of the City Treasurer, the Department of Housing and Economic Development, Choose Chicago, 42 Business member organizations and hundreds of locally owned independent businesses.  The campaign seeks to build a new Chicago tradition that strengthens our economy, expands employment, nurtures a sense of community, and provides a more relaxed, fun, and rewarding holiday experience.

The campaign includes:

  • A pledge for citizens to shift a portion of their spending from chain stores to locally owned stores
  • "50 Great Businesses in 50 Great Wards" – a blog written by 40 volunteers about a business in every ward
  • City Council resolution proclaiming Buy Local Week in Chicago from November 23December 2, 2012
  • Neighborhood pages for every participating neighborhood and a map of all neighborhoods
  • Calendar of holiday events in neighborhoods across the city

Numerous other studies illustrate that having a concentration of locally owned businesses keeps wealth circulating in our communities and positively impacts indicators such as per capita income, real estate values, voter turnout and health outcomes.  A just-released study calculated that if Cook County could create a market shift of 10% from chains to independents, it would retain $2 billion in the regional economy every year.

"We need to support our local business owners," said Nilda Esparza, Executive Director, Little Village Chamber of Commerce. "By participating in the Unwrap Chicago campaign, our efforts in the neighborhood are amplified city-wide."

Local First Chicago is a network of locally-owned, independent businesses, non-profits, and community members joined together in the belief that locally-owned independent businesses are a crucial feature of economically and environmentally sustainable neighborhoods.

Campaign Supporting Partners include: Roscoe Village Chamber of Commerce, West Town Chamber of Commerce, Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, Old Town Merchants & Residents Association, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce, South East Chicago Commission, Fulton River District Association, Northalsted Business Alliance, Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce and Little Village Chamber of Commerce.

SOURCE Local First Chicago