Small Business Saturday 2023 kicks off in Chicago, suburbs to help holiday shoppers support local

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Saturday, November 25, 2023
Small Business Saturday kicks off in Chicago, suburbs
Small Business Saturday is underway in Chicago and the suburbs giving holiday shoppers a reason to support local businesses.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Jolly Christmas carolers ring in Small Business Saturday inside Devon Market in Rogers Park, kicking off one of the most important days of the year for these local shops.

"This is what keeps us alive and it keeps the community going," said Christian Anguiano of the Devon Market. "It brings attention and lets people know that we are here and hopefully we are here to stay."

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According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Small Business Saturday began in 2010 to help businesses hurting during the economic recession.

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Thirteen years later, the holiday only seems to grow in importance for small businesses.

It's a staple of the community, it's been here 16 years," said Brandon Grooms, owner of Bark Place. "It's not only the past and the present, but it's also the future for my family."

Bark Place is a pet store that offers boarding, grooming and daycare located at 1775 W Greenleaf Avenue.

Grooms said local shops like his, which are deeply embedded in the community, offer a level of personal customer service that online shops just can't compete with.

"We're part of the community, I see these dogs everyday," he said. "I see these customers everyday, they are neighbors, they are friends, they are family."

The ABC7 data team analyzed data from Block Advisors, a company that helps small businesses. I shows that small business revenue dropped 59% post-pandemic, making Small Business Saturday that much more important.

"When you shop local and help out a small business owner, you're really helping out the Chicago economy," said Ken Meyer, Commissioner of Chicago Department of Business Affairs.

Meyer said Small Business Saturday has turned into a family affair for many getting a jumpstart on holiday shopping.

"There's so many family traditions around the holiday season from all parts of the world and when you look at this beautiful store here there's just a lot of goods that come out during the holidays. It kind of brings back memories of your childhood," said Meyer.