One of the best small-business promoters I know is Nicole Jones, the super-networker who opened the Sensual Steps Shoe Salon on Cottage Grove in Bronzeville. Now she's promoting more than her own business via an e-newsletter about shopping locally. Here it is:
"Our newly elected President, Barack Obama, has set a new standard in the lives of all Americans. It is time for us to rise and change our beliefs, habits, and attitudes. As a small business owner, I can't help but ponder why six small businesses in my community have failed over the past six months. People often profess the importance of African American owned businesses and diversification of products and services, yet when businesses are developed, many individuals continue patronizing the same stores instead of taking an extra drive, walking a few blocks, or visiting a new area to support local business owners. If African American owned businesses do not have consistent customers and clients, how can their businesses thrive or even survive?
"Our communities can not afford to have any local businesses fail. When this happens, neighborhoods are adversely affected. People should have the pleasure and privilege of living, dining, shopping, and entertaining in their neighborhoods. Businesses should provide professional, efficient, and quality products and services. It is our obligation and responsibility to Shop Local First. Do we invest the tax dollars back into our own neighborhoods, or do we give revenue to other communities to help them prosper? The decision is ours, and so are the consequences.
"Let us stand together and start implementing positive changes that begin with our thinking. Why continue to take tax revenue from your neighborhood? Why complain about the lack of local businesses while traveling outside the community to make purchases? Invest in the businesses that benefit your neighborhoods, and reap the benefits of that investment. Change lives by building stronger, more viable, and sustainable communities. Make a difference and support community-based businesses. Be a part of the solution...one store at a time. It starts with a simple concept: Shop Local First.
"God Bless....Nicole Jones"
Businesses that need your support:
Sensual Steps, 4518 S. Cottage Grove,773-548-3338
Divine Sole, 3708 S. Indiana Ave., 773-548-7653
House of Sole, 1237 S. Michigan Ave., 312-834-0909
Kamryn B's, 8301 S. Ashland Ave., 773-881-3296
Fai'es Art Institute, 4317 S. Cottage Grove, 773-268-2889
Gallery Guichard, 3521 S. King Dr., 773-373-8000
Kiwi Boutique, 1015 S. Western Ave., 312-421-3322
Ms. Catwalk, 2042 N. Damen Ave., 773-235-2750
Goree Shop, 1122 East 47th St., 773-393-3580
Agriculture, 532 East 43rd St., 773-538-5500
Café's and Bistros
Bronzeville Coffee, 528 East 43rd St., 773-536-0494
Ain't She Sweet Café, 4532 S. Cottage Grove, 773-373-3530
Zaleski & Horvath, 1126 E. 47th St., 773-538-7372
Hidden Pearl Art Café, 1060 E. 47th St., 773-285-1211
She also provided this link to localfirstchicago.org