Gift Chicago is a grassroots, collaborative promotional campaign by independent shops in Chicago to encourage residents and visitors to Chicago to shop locally during the holiday season (and beyond). By providing a directory of locally owned stores in the city, we hope to make it easy to find nearby or undiscovered stores to visit. Through our Shop Local Pledge, we give shoppers a fun way to publicly share their commitment to shop local and support their communities this holiday season.

Gift Chicago is organized by the shop owner of Neighborly, Jenny Beorkrem, and Kate Merena, former shop owner of Sacred Art. If you are a shop that would like to be involved with Gift Chicago, please email us!

Why is it so important to shop local? Local stores keep Chicago’s neighborhoods vibrant and diverse, no one wants to live in a place that looks just like the next town over, boring! We want unique, creative businesses in our neighborhoods, it’s what makes them fun and attractive to visit and this is exactly what small businesses offer - uniqueness and creativity.

Also, independent, locally owned shops keep three times as many dollars in the local economy than nationally owned chains and give more back to local needs... on average, non-profits receive 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses. That’s an awfully good reason to divert more dollars to locally owned stores.

Many of our participating shops also carry locally-made products. Local makers help build local economies as well, provide better paying jobs for local residents, and add character and culture to communities. Locally-made products are typically more uniquely designed and more carefully crafted than those made in mass.