Businesses of all sizes have been hit hard in 2020, but it has been especially challenging for small businesses that rely on in-person customers. If you’re looking for a New Year challenge, shopping locally is a great way to support your community and find new favorite local shops around the city. Here are a few ideas on how to start shopping locally without changing your habits.
How to develop a habit to shop locally
Shop at a farmers market
Yes, you can still shop at farmer’s markets this winter! Check out the Logan Square indoor farmer’s market and GCM Delivered, a Green City Market home delivery and curbside pick-up program for fresh produce, baked goods, flowers, and more. Through this small change, you will support local farmers, your community, help the environment, and you will know where your food is coming from.
Find small local businesses on your way
You don’t need to drive miles out of your way for local goods (but you do if you want to go to the mall!). Instead, pay attention to the businesses you see near your usual commute to work, school, gym, or your child’s daycare. Have you noticed that small gift shop before? Make this the day you stop by to check it out. Next time you’re looking for a gift for a friend, shop there!
Buy ‘locally produced’ in the supermarket
Many grocery stores have signs for products sourced from within a certain vicinity of the building. If you don’t see signs, just ask the store manager. Since you’re already at this store, this is a really easy adjustment you can make to support local businesses.
Use the resources available to find nearby local stores
You can use the local shopping platform – ChiLocal – to help you shop for local items. It has everything from local retailers to local Etsy makers, so whatever you’re looking for, you can find it here and then visit the stores in-person or shop online.
Don’t expect to buy everything locally
Shopping locally does require more effort. So it’s ok if we can’t find some things locally and use online retailers instead. A small change in your behavior can really make a difference and you will be able to find sustainable, environmentally responsible companies whose values align with yours, and you will know you’re making the right choice.
Do you have any tips for shopping local and small more regularly? Let us know in the comments below!