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Holiday Shoppers Urged to ‘Buy Local’

A network of local businesses is urging holiday shoppers to “buy local” as a way of supporting the distinctive character and the economy of their neighborhoods.

Local First Chicago, a network of locally-owned independent businesses, has launched a campaign in four neighborhoods, posting signs in shop windows and distributing brochures and thank-you notes to customers emphasizing the economic and social value of supporting local businesses.

Compared to chain stores, local businesses recirculate 70 percent more money back into the local community, purchasing local goods and services and spending their profits locally, according to Local First Chicago. Local businesses also give to local charities at a much higher rate, according to the group.

“Consumers already understand this intuitively,” said Ellen Shepard of the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce. “People are drawn to business districts that are unique and personal. The Local First campaign shows consumers that these businesses are also key to keeping their communities healthy and vibrant economically.”

The campaign is initially focused in Andersonville, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, and Wicker Park/Bucktown, but the group plans to expand citywide, Shepard said, and business groups in several other neighborhoods have expressed interest in joining.

Local First Chicago is the local branch of the international Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, which promotes the growth and development of community-based business.

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Category: retail

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