Chicago Businesses Benefit From “Buy Local First” Campaigns

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Business A recent survey of independent businesses showed that Buy Local campaigns have a positive impact on businesses and that public awareness of the benefits of locally owned businesses is increasing. At the same time, businesses reported challenges including difficultly accessing capital and a customer base still reeling from the recession.

This was the sixth annual post-holiday survey of independent businesses conducted by the Institute for Local Self Reliance (ILSR) and it tallied responses from 2377 businesses, all independent and locally-owned, across all 50 states. About half were retailers. Local First Chicago along with dozens of neighborhood partners has produced a Buy Local campaign called “Unwrap Chicago: Eat, Drink & Buy Local” for the last three years. Chicago businesses were encouraged to respond to the ILSR survey and Local First Chicago was able to obtain a Chicago break-out of results.

Chicago specific results include:

  • Sixty-one percent of businesses felt the Unwrap Chicago campaign increased local media coverage of independent businesses.
  • Fifty-seven percent said it made City officials more aware and supportive of independent business.
  • Eighty-three percent felt that the fact that their business was locally owned mattered to some or most of their customers. For more information on the survey, visit

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