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Paid Post: In 2015 Evanston was the only U.S. City to be awarded the most “tech savvy” city by the Public Technology Institute and that is something to brag about.

And it’s no secret that Amazon has become a retail force because it’s convenient, fast and often the most affordable option. That said, online shopping is a major threat to the integrity of business districts and the liveliness of communities.

It’s also no secret that Evanston is a city that has great civic pride and an extremely strong sense of community. So, let’s focus on that!

The holidays are approaching and we thought now would be a good time to remind you why it is important to support your Evanston businesses:
  • Local shopping helps keep a community authentic and unique.
  • Local merchants support local non-profit organizations (when was the last time Amazon provided a gift card for a local charity fundraiser?)
  • Supporting your local economy supports your neighbor; small businesses hire from within the community.
  • Brick and mortar stores pay taxes that provide services to your community.

With all of this in mind, here are some local shopping suggestions for everyone on your holiday list.

Life Is Good is new to downtown, a great place to pick up some t-shirts, hats and hoodies. For the active folks on your list, Uncle Dan’s and Wheel and Sprocket provide service and knowledge of their products you just can’t get on-line. For health nuts, consider a gift card for a class or lesson at our many unique fitness studios such as Exhale, The Barre Code, Pure Barre and coming soon Cycle Bar. For winter staples, William’s Shoes offers fashionable boots and socks and next door neighbor Relish has sweaters, coats and scarves.

Finding something for the creatives in your life is easy at The Alley Gallery, Bookends and Beginnings, Comix Revolution, Amaranth Books and Vintage Vinyl. For the DIYers and crafters, stop by Lemoi Ace Hardware, Blick  and Close Knit and pick up vintage finds at Stepping Out on Faith

Looking for home accessories, jewelry and unique clothing? Try Dragonfly. Know someone getting engaged this holiday season? Suggest Eve J. Alfille for a unique engagement ring or pick out an extra special gift for that extra special someone.  Give the gift of jewelry or jewelry making from Ayla’s Orginals. And for all of you brides, don’t forget about Avail & Co.’s beautiful custom designed wedding dresses and accessories.

Have a few holiday parties coming up? Find a classy, festive outfit at CouCou and Olive, Gigi Bottega, Talia, Accents Plus or 2nd Time Around. Pick up the perfect hostess gifts at Vinic Wine, Spice and Tea Exchange, Bloom 3, Saville Flowers and Flowers Flowers. Freshen Up for holiday parties at Egea Spa, Ergo Salon, Salon Roula, Salon Texture or Asha Salon. And, as the holidays can be stressful, we recommend visiting Grateful Yoga and Bikram Yoga Evanston.

And last, but of course not least at all, the kids! Pick up creative, thoughtful and fun toys at Becky and Me Toys.

Come out and support Evanston’s independent merchants on Small Business Saturday, November 26th and every Saturday and Sunday this holiday season. Details at www.downtownevanston.org/smallbusinesssaturday.

Remember! Between Thursday, November 24 and Friday, December 31, FREE holiday parking will be provided in the Sherman Plaza, Maple Avenue, and Church Street parking garages on weekdays between 5pm and midnight and all day on Saturdays. Please note that it is always free to park in Evanston parking garages and lots on Sundays.

Get a list of all the happenings at www.downtownevanston.org or www.shopevanstonfortheholidays.com.

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