LINCOLN SQUARE — The Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce is asking neighbors to shop local during between April 11 and April 18 as part of a statewide “IL’ove Local” campaign.
Every dollar spent at a local, independent business returns three times more money to the local economy than one spent at a big box chain and nearly 50 times more mo online mega-retailer, according to the American Independent Business Alliance.
“Our local business are the heart and soul of this community. People from our local and neighboring communities come to Lincoln Square and Ravenswood for the unique products and services our businesses provide,” said Rudy Flores, executive director of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.
Roughly 40 to 60 percent of small businesses that close after a disaster never reopen, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“While people across the state are staying home to save lives, we want to ensure that small businesses can save their livelihoods,” said Lisa Weitzel, President of Illinois Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. “We are asking neighbors to put their money where their heart is and support the ‘IL’ove Local’ initiative.”
Gov. JB Pritzker’s stay at home order went into effect March 21 and was originally set to end April 7. But officials have repeatedly said the end date was subject to change and more time could be needed to see what impact the order would have on “flattening the curve” of growing coronavirus cases. It has since been extended through April 30.
The only businesses that should be open right now under Pritzker’s stay at home order are ones considered essential: grocery stores, pharmacies and laundromats, to name a few. A separate dine-in ban went into effect across the state March 17 that limits restaurants, bars and cafes to delivery and takeout orders.
Since then, a number of businesses have limited their hours open, cut down on staff or closed altogether. Additionally, many service industry businesses have launched online fundraisers to help cover their overhead and keep employees paid during the shut down.
“We want our local businesses to survive this shut down,” Flores said.
What Shoppers Can Do
- Follow social distancing guidelines and stay home as much as possible.
- Buy Local. Find out if your favorite local store has an online shop or reach out to them to find out how you can purchase now for pick up later.
- Buy gift cards to use later.
- Take online virtual classes from your favorite local business.
- Get takeout or delivery and tip big!
- Consider buying lunch or dinner for the first responders, you will help your local restaurants and the people who serve us all.
- Buy gift cards from local businesses for your favorite waiter, waitress, or bartender.
- Like and share your favorite local businesses social media post.
- Once you’ve purchased a gift card or meal, take a picture of it, share it on your social media and hashtag #IloveIllinois
- OR use #shopsmall #shopillinois #Illinoisstrong #AllInIllinois
- Maintain your memberships
- Check out lincolnsquare.org/covid-19 for directories for a one-stop shop in shopping small during the pandemic.
- And find out all the ways to support independent Illinois businesses in your backyard by visiting www.IllinoisLoveLocal.com.
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