Local First Chicago
We recently joined the Local First Chicago, a great local membership organization of local owned companies in Chicago. Local First Chicago’s mission is to educate the public on the importance of choosing locally owned, independent businesses. We work primarily through public education, business support, and advocacy.

Local First Chicago is a network of locally owned, independent businesses and community organizations joined together to keep money and character in our neighborhoods and build a thriving local living economy. In doing so, we hope to promote the overall social, economic, and environmental health of our economy and communities.

Here are 10 Reasons to Shop and Support Chicago businesses like Lakeshore Branding.

#1. Keep money in the neighborhood.
A recent study in Chicago showed that locally owned, independent businesses put 70% more money back into the local community than chain stores, per square foot occupied. A space filled with a local business rather than a chain puts more dollars back in your neighborhood.

#2. Embrace what makes us different.
Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. Where we shop, where we eat and hang out – all of it makes our neighborhoods home. Chain businesses change the character of our neighborhoods. If we wanted to live someplace that looked like everywhere else, we wouldn’t be living in Chicago.

#3. Get better service.
In a local business, you know the person behind the counter, and they know you. They have a deep understanding of the products they’re selling, and they take time to serve their customers.

#4. Create and keep good jobs.
Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally, and small businesses account for the vast majority of job growth. Locally owned businesses are far less likely to pull up stakes and move operations to another city or country, taking their jobs with them.

#5. Promote competition and diversity.
A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based on the needs of their local customers and not on a national sales plan, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

#6. Help out the environment.
Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases, requiring less transportation, and they generally set up shop in commercial corridors rather than developing on the fringe. This means less sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution.

#7. Support community groups.
Nonprofits receive an average of 350% more support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses.

#8. Put your taxes to good use.
Local businesses in neighborhoods need comparatively les infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.

#9. Vote with your dollars.
A study in Austin, TX showed that if each household redirected just $100 of planned holiday spending from chain stores to locally owned merchants, the local economic impact would reach approximately $10 Million.

#10. Invest in the community.
Local businesses are owned by people who live here, work here, and are invested in the community with much more than just their dollars.

To sign up your business or to learn more about Local First, check out their website and sign up for their newsletters!