Shopping Locally Benefits the Community

November 11, 2011

Chicago-area resident Rachel Hershinow, who owns the fabulous Stella Boutique along iconic Central Street in Evanston, started a “Shop Small Stores” campaign with her local merchants association a couple years ago to draw attention to local, independently owned stores.

Shopping at neighborhood and independent retailers not only supports small business owners but also preserves jobs and supports the local economy. For every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 goes back to the community in the form of taxes, salaries, charitable contributions and more.

When shopping at a national chain, that amount drops down to $43. Buy your items online and the community gets nothing.

This Saturday, November 12, not only will you have a chance to shop locally, but your purchases will help support charitable causes as well.

During Community Day on Central Street, participating shops, including Stella, 2116 Central Street, Evanston, will donate a portion of each sale toward a participating charity of your choice, including:

*Evanston Connections for the Homeless

*C.A.R.E. for the Evanston Shelter

*Evanston Environmental Association

To participate, simply click here to find the list of all involved businesses and charities. Print it out and bring it with you on Saturday, November 12 for Community Day on Central Street and make your purchases count. The flyer will be available in stores, too.

For more information, visit or

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November 12 also marks the second annual Neighborhood Toy Store Day.

“This event is such a special opportunity for families to enjoy their local toy stores,” said Kathleen McHugh, President of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association (ASTRA).

“Neighborhood Toy Store Day highlights the importance of independent toy stores not only to children and their families — but to their local areas as well. It’s a wonderful way to launch the holiday shopping season with some community-minded fun.”

Some of the Chicago stores participating in the event include Timeless Toys, Building Blocks Toy Store and Galt Toys. To find a store near you, visit

“When you shop at an independent toy store, you are entering a world of play possibilities,” said McHugh. “Neighborhood Toy Store Day is about celebrating the role the local store plays in the community.

“By shopping locally, consumers will find wonderful toys while supporting vibrant communities.”

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