Over 50 Chicago businesses taking part in Southwest Side’s Small Business Saturday event

Monique Michelle Harris, owner of The Beauty Experience at 2438 W. 63rd St. in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood, is taking part in her local Small Business Saturday event for the first time.

Tyler Pasciak LaRiviere/Sun-Times

Small businesses on the Southwest Side are lighting a candle to help people find their way back to neighborhood businesses after Black Friday this weekend.

Over 50 small businesses in the neighborhoods of Clearing, West Lawn, Chicago Lawn and Gage Park are participating in the Greater Southwest Development Corporation’s Small Business Saturday event, an annual tradition to drive foot traffic to local businesses.

“You don’t have to go down to Michigan Avenue to shop, you can shop right here on the Southwest Side,” said Rodney Watt, the group’s director of development.

The tradition includes a gift for business owners to offer customers on the day. It’s a holiday candle this year, provided to the participating businesses by the development group.

The group founded the event 10 years ago to help spark traffic on the commercial corridors of 63rd Street between Cicero and Bell avenues and 59th Street between Homan and Oakley avenues.

Decades ago, business along these strips were thriving, Watt said. But they’ve seen a decline in recent decades and still suffer from the pandemic downturn. 

Today, there are considerably fewer active business licenses in the area than elsewhere in the city. For example, there are 411 active business licenses in Gage Park compared to the 1,099 active licenses on the Lower West Side or the 4,346 on the Near North Side, according to city data.

Monique Michelle Harris owns a spa and beauty salon at 2438 W. …read more

Source:: Chicago Sun Times

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