Edgeville Buzz

Andersonville Gears Up For Small Business Saturday This Weekend

andersonville-sign-1With Small Business Saturday this weekend, 21 Andersonville businesses will join together to provide free passport booklets and raffle opportunities to help consumers find their perfect holiday gifts.

The event will be sponsored by The Runner’s Edge, 5243 N. Clark St., and will take place this Saturday between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Other participating stores include: Alleycat Comics; Andersonville Antiques; Andersonville Galleria; Candyality; Cassona; Chicago Dance Supply; City Olive; Crossroads Trading; Early to Bed; George’s Ice Cream; Jerry’s; Koval Distillery; Murray & White; Norcross & Scott; Painted Light Photography + Framing Gallery; Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread & Wine; Presence; SIR Spa; Women & Children First; and the Wooden Spoon.

Once participants pick up a passport booklet, they can visit as many of the 21 stores as they’d like to receive destination stamps before then dropping the booklets off in raffle boxes at any of the participating businesses for a chance to win prizes. The raffle results will be announced the week of Nov. 28.

“We help organize and help other businesses achieve their goals by doing promotions and events together,” said Chris Thomas, with The Runner’s Edge. “Strength in numbers. It has helped unify our business community, increase visibility, and allowed us to show our collective strength when marketing and promoting this event to the general public.”

According to the Andersonville Study of Retail Economics from October 2004, for every $100 consumers spend in a local small business, $68 stays in the Chicago economy. That is compared to $43 for purchases made at local branches of chain stores. Here is the study.

A more recent study published in the summer of 2012, the Indie Impact Study Series, found that the proportion of revenue kept locally by surveyed, Andersonville businesses rose from 44 percent in 2004 to 46.9 percent in 2012. Here’s the 2012 study.

While Thomas said it’s difficult to predict how many people will attend the event this Saturday, he said transaction counts at The Runner’s Edge were up over 48 percent from 2014.

“(We are) hoping to surpass this number for this year,” he said of the running shoe store that also provides clothing and other accessories and opened in 2008.

“The Chamber is always very excited to help promote business-led efforts to involve the entire neighborhood,” said Joelle Scillia, director of marketing for the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce.

“The Runner’s Edge has done a wonderful job in creating a program that is fun and a welcome addition to our lineup of holiday events. We promote the passport festival to our full email list and social media followers, as well as make an effort to reach all participating businesses to ensure they are taking advantage of the marketing package Runner’s Edge has put together. Our goal is (to) nurture the spirit of collaboration in this neighborhood between businesses, and the Small Business Saturday passport program is a prime example.”

According to American Express, they launched Small Business Saturday in 2010 to encourage people across the country to support small, local businesses.

For more information about Small Business Saturday and the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, visit andersonville.org.

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