Locally-owned businesses celebrate Small Business Saturday

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Shoppers around the city celebrated Small Business Saturday, a push to get shoppers to spend money at locally-owned businesses.

Chicago area resident Tiava likes the big idea of shopping small.

"I'm glad that both my money and my support can be tied to it," said shopper Tiava.

She was among other like-minded consumers who shopped this weekend at Connect South Shore, a pop-up shop featuring nearly three dozen vendors.

"I think that there are a lot of underutilized spaces throughout the South Side, even further south, so I think it's important to activate those spaces," said Connect South Shore General Manager Kenneth Pickett.

It's all a part of Small Business Saturday, the national initiative sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday that encourages consumers to support small businesses by shopping locally during the big kickoff weekend to the holiday shopping season.

"If the money stays in the community, we can provide more jobs for small businesses," said Ciara Whitaker with the South Shore Chamber of Commerce.

The Connect South Shore pop-up shop is located in a vacant dollar store this year. It's a new location in the South Shore neighborhood, but the second year of the three-day event to that aims to promote local artisans, authors and other businesses like custom t-shirt maker Free Breakfast Apparel.

"These types of markets are good for us to generate that traffic onto our website," said local vendor Alejandro Dejesus.

Last year, millions of consumers shopped at mom and pop shops on Small Business Saturday.

There were similar events throughout the city and suburbs from Lincoln Square on the North Side of the city to west suburban LaGrange.

Local merchants said this day is so important for them because they can nearly double their revenue for the day. They also said that its important because they can develop online relationships and hopefully get more shoppers to purchase items on Cyber Monday.
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