Geneva small businesses need your support April 11-18
Shopping local is not an annual event, nor a novelty. It must be a daily practice that makes our community stronger. The Geneva Chamber of Commerce is asking you to put your money where your heart is and support your small, local businesses through the ILove Local initiative.
All across Illinois, small businesses provide our communities with good jobs, quality customer service, and the character that makes our cities, towns and neighborhoods feel like home. According to the SBA, small businesses make up an astonishing 99.6 of all businesses in Illinois.
On April 11-18, chambers of commerce and small businesses are coming together in this time of unprecedented challenge to share resources, build community and unite to champion small businesses across the state.
Meet ILove Local, our weeklong statewide initiative to encourage shopping locally.
Why support local Illinois businesses now?
Now more than ever, Illinois small businesses need your support! Here's just a few of the reasons why:
• 40-60% of small businesses that close after a disaster never reopen (FEMA)
• 93% of shoppers say that they prefer local retailers (Small Business Administration)
• Small businesses account for 99.6 of businesses in Illinois (American Independent Business Alliance)
• Each dollar you spend at a local business returns 50 times more money to your local economy. (American Independent Business Alliance)
• Collectively small, local businesses are the states' largest employer. (Small Business Administration)
• Small businesses employ more than half of working class in the United States (Small Business Administration)
I'm a consumer who wants to support my local businesses! Where do I start?
There are so many ways to support your local businesses, including:
• Stay healthy by staying home! Most importantly, we urge everyone to stay home as much as possible and follow social distancing and health guidelines if you do go out. Not only are you protecting the health of you and your family, but your fellow community members and the employees at your favorite businesses.
• Buy a gift card! Plan your next night out or stock up on gifts! Buy a gift certificate from your favorite local shop, theater, restaurant or service provider to gift to a loved one, or treat yourself later!
• Buy local online! If your favorite restaurant, store or service provider offers online ordering or other virtual ways to support, choose them over giant e-retailers, or reach out to see if you can buy from your favorite store now to pick up later.
• Get social! Follow your favorite local spots on Facebook and Instagram for frequent updates on their health & safety practices, schedule, and events & specials.
• Take virtual classes! If your favorite gym or art or music school is offering virtual classes, sign yourself or your family up for some fun, enriching activities while staying home.
• Keep your memberships! If you have a membership for a gym, music or art classes or other activities, if you are able to do so, please keep your membership even if you can't be there in person.
• Show some love on social! Give your favorite business a positive review on Yelp, Facebook or Google Reviews to lift spirits and their online presence during this time.
• Don't be afraid to reach out! If you're a regular somewhere, stop in, give a call or send an email asking how you can be supportive.
• When ordering takeout or delivery, pay it forward! Order from your favorite restaurants to help keep them afloat, and tip generously to support their employees -- every little bit helps during this tough time!
But you can do even more than that. Pay it forward by buying lunch or dinner for health care workers or first responders in your community to support local restaurants and the people who serve us all (be sure to call their offices for safety guidelines and make sure it's OK first!). Buy gift cards from local businesses or restaurants to give to your favorite hospitality workers!
Visit the Geneva Chamber of Commerce website at www.genevachamber.com to see a list of local businesses!
Buy gift cards from Geneva shopsLooking for a way to virtually support local businesses?
The Geneva Chamber of Commerce, with assistasnce from resident Jen Jenny, started a new website www.genevagiftcards.com.
Buy gift cards from your favorite shops and restaurants in Geneva! Just browse by category and click on the logos of your favorite spots to go directly to their gift card ordering sites.
If any Geneva businesses that currently offer gift certificates/cards and would like to participate in this program, contact the chamber. This is open to all members.