Chicago businesses prepare for Small Business Saturday


CHICAGO — On a day filled with purchases, many people are finding ways to give to others while also supporting neighborhood businesses.

With Small Business Saturday approaching, the Chamber of Commerce said now is now a great time to check out local stores for holiday shopping and dining.

Rob Lindley said he thinks shopping small is a great way to show support for those who back to the community in return.

“We want to know our customers, we want to know their kids,” Lindley, a cashier and sales clerk at Hazel, said. “We have people who come in here every year. They come get a holiday ornament.”

Hazel has been a staple of the Ravenswood neighborhood for more than 20 years. Elizabeth Kearney moved away from the area, but still comes back to do her shopping.

“You know, they care about the products they are bringing in, so it makes you feel like you know, you’re getting something good,” Kearney said.

She said there’s never a wrong time to shop at a mom-and-pop shop, no matter where you are.

“My dad has been a small business owner since his 20s,” Kearney said. “So small businesses mean a lot to me and my family.”

Neighborhood chambers of commerce across Chicago are gearing up for and celebrating small business Saturday specials.

“This is now the Black Friday for small businesses,” Rudy Flores, executive director of the Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber said many area businesses will offer deals or discounts and some are hosting events, like pictures with Santa.

“We have thousands of people that come out to Lincoln Square and Ravenswood because of the clustering of so many independently owned businesses,” Flores said.

After the pandemic forced many stores nationwide to shutter their doors, Flores said he can’t encourage enough to look local.

“Coming out right now means more than ever,” he said.

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