Few characteristics of a local community liven its collective spirit quite like a robust landscape of small businesses.
The North Shore, and New Trier Township, are certainly not exceptions to that assertion.
This Saturday, Nov. 28, is Small Businesses Saturday — an annual holiday-shopping tradition that encourages people to support locally owned businesses.
Local small businesses are preparing for a holiday season quite like any of its predecessors.
With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continuing to present challenges and alterations to traditional means of operation, businesses are thinking outside of the box this year. And despite the unprecedented circumstances they are facing, small-business owners are ready to adapt in hopes of a successful holiday season.
Chambers of Commerce and local municipalities are encouraging residents to show their support this year more than ever before. A series of initiatives and events, highlighted by The Record below, are dedicated to providing easily accessible information about all the local shops around town and the ways that residents can support them.
As it’s often said, shopping small adds up to big things.
The Wilmette-Kenilworth Chamber of Commerce has spearheaded a new initiative for this holiday season called “12 Days of Giving.”
“With so many people in need, the Village is partnering with our local businesses to offer 12 Days of Giving,” a statement on the chamber’s website reads. “Starting the week of Thanksgiving you can help support local charities by shopping at local participating merchants who will donate a portion of their proceeds to District 39 Educational Foundation, Woman’s Club of Wilmette, The Wilmette Theatre, and Family Service Center.”
Charities and local associations benefitted, and the coinciding dates, are:
Additionally, the Village of Wilmette announced earlier this month that it will be holding its first holiday window decorating contest.
Local merchants will be designing storefront decor to create a festive environment for the holiday season. The Village is encouraging locals to check out the creative designs and then stop inside to offer their support, if possible.
More details, including participating businesses, can be found here.
Lastly, the chamber plans to hold a “Game of Gnomes Scavenger Hunt” this season.
Residents are invited to take part in a holiday adventure in downtown Wilmette where they’ll search the storefronts for a dozen hidden Gnomes.
Once all 12 are located, participants can drop off their game card at a dropbox located at Wild Child Toy Shop, 1114 Central Ave. By doing so, you’ll be entered to win gift cards from a Wilmette local business of your choice. A game card can be downloaded here.
Wilmette also created a interactive local restaurant map. The map shows users a list of Wilmette restaurants that remain open during the pandemic.
An open-air holiday market, sponsored by the Village of Winnetka, will showcase goods from local businesses around the area.
The market will run for two weekends, Nov. 28-29 and Dec. 5-6, and will be located the south parking lot of the Winnetka Village Hall on the corner of Oak and Green Bay.
Hours for the market are:
– 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 28 and Saturday, Dec. 5
– Noon-3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 29 and Sunday, Dec. 6.
More information about the market, and safety protocols can be found here.
The village’s Distinctly Winnetka program is also running in full force this holiday season.
The text loyalty program is designed to support local businesses and highlight their promotions. It sends to Winnetka residents text messages that feature a list of news, events and promotions from local businesses. There is no cost to join the program — for either local businesses or residents.
To join the community program and receive information from the local community businesses, text WINN to 55678.
The Village of Glencoe and the Glencoe Chamber of Commerce have a “local-first mindset this holiday season.
Eighteen stores and businesses around Glencoe are offering special deals this weekend.
The village recently compiled a comprehensive list of all the special offers this weekend for Small Business Saturday.
Additional information about local businesses and their offerings this holiday season can be found here.
Martin Carlino is a co-founder and the senior editor who assigns and edits The Record stories, while also bylining articles every week. Martin is an experienced and award-winning education reporter who was the editor of The Northbrook Tower.