Keep Evanston Awesome -- Shop local businesses this holiday season!

[Paid Post] Evanston is an awesome city, filled with awesome locally owned restaurants, shops, service companies, health practitioners, fitness studios, entertainment venues—you name it, we’ve got it. These small businesses are the backbone of our community and deserve our support daily.

This year, Downtown Evanston is kicking off a “Keep Evanston Awesome” campaign on Small Business Saturday to recognize the important role that local businesses have in our community. When you start to figure out gifts for family and friends, choose to shop Evanston brick and mortar businesses instead of shopping online. 

Join your fellow awesome Evanstonians on Nov. 30 for Small Business Saturday, a nation-wide celebration of independent and local businesses. As November is the month of giving back, when you shop and dine at local establishments, you automatically give back to our community. Bring friends and family members downtown for a kick-off brunch at The Cellar at the Stained Glass, Whiskey Thief or Next of Kin Evanston and take part in a “Keep Evanston Awesome” Shopping Passport to receive a fun holiday giveaway and enter a raffle for a downtown Evanston staycation weekend in February. 

Keep Evanston Awesome Shopping Passport

Pick up a Shopping Passport at the Hyatt House, 1515 Chicago Ave., or any participating business (click here) on November 30 starting at 10am. Shop at the businesses listed on the passport and when you’ve spent $100 or more at one or a combination of shops, bring your passport to the Hyatt House to redeem your holiday gift bag and to enter the raffle. 

Why Shop Local? 

One of our favorite things about Evanston is the great civic pride and an extremely strong sense of community. Evanston is awesome for many reasons, but the local businesses support the community as a whole in so many ways. 

  • 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.

Shopping Ideas 

With all of this in mind, here are some local shopping suggestions for everyone on your holiday list and view the video below for a visual tour of the local shops in downtown Evanston. 

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 The Barre Code, Pure Barre, Cycle Bar, TruFit Personal Training Studios, SPENGA, and Title Boxing Club.  

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 and Assembly Creators Market, also featuring workshops by local artists. 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 the experience of jewelry making from Ayla’s Originals. Don’t forget to stop in at Artem Pop Up Gallery, featuring a range of handmade and/or designed arts, apparel, jewelry and gifts. 

Have a few holiday parties coming up? Find a classy, festive outfit at CouCou and Olive, Gigi Bottega, Talia, Accents Plus. 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 Lamia, Steven Papageorge Salon or Salon Lofts. 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, educational and fun toys at Becky and Me Toys. And case in point, Becky & Me Toys is offering 20% off all toys that are purchased for and donated to the bin for Mayor Hagerty’s Holiday Food, Book and Toy Drive

Holiday Parking

From Saturday, Nov. 30 through Saturday, Jan. 4, Evanston shoppers can have their parking validated at participating Evanston businesses with a qualifying purchase. Validation can be used for free two-hour parking at City meters and surface during this time period. Shoppers parking at City meters and lots must use the Park Evanston mobile app in order to redeem validation.

Come out and support Evanston’s independent merchants on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30, Warm Bevvy Walk on Dec. 5, and every Saturday and Sunday this holiday season. Shopping discounts and specials listed at www.downtownevanston.org/smallbusinesssaturday.

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