After the holidays were forced to look so different last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Small Business Saturday drew even more attention this time around.
From Pilsen to Ravenswood and Rogers Park, Chicagoans have embraced local stores and spent money in their communities, knowing this is where it will stay.
Benita Phipps, one of hundreds of Chicago small business owners, greeted shoppers at her Bronzeville – Upscale Resale Furniture and Consignment Shop, 501 E. 47th St.
“We’re here to bring a wonderful product to the community, to be able to support the community, but what is happening is that they are supporting us,” she said. “… Small businesses are the heart of the community, and people have to figure it out without us, it’s just … boring (laughs).”
Across the city and the suburbs, people visited local businesses and also grabbed a bite to eat at local restaurants.
In Lincoln Square, the tunes of a Christmas choir filled the neighborhood, helping shoppers get into the holiday spirit.
“It feels good to help the community, for Small Business Saturday and just to be part of the party atmosphere,” said Matt Gruel with The Festive Singers.
In Bronzeville, Phipps revealed that his goal for the day was not cash.
On the contrary, the owner of the business said she was grateful that her store was open to buyers.
“It has been a difficult year with COVID,” she said. “Difficult just for families and now we have the holiday season, and people are coming together, and I’m so grateful to still be there. ”