It’s that time of year! With full bellies and hopefully memorable Thanksgiving dinners with family and friends, it is officially time to kick off the biggest shopping season of the year.
And small businesses want a piece of the pie too—hence Small Business Saturday, which kicked off as an initiative from American Express in 2010 to encourage patronage of local businesses.
Chicagoland businesses are all set for the season and we’ve highlighted a few small business events as well as businesses to get you started.
Creating in the Community
Saturday, November 25
Begins with breakfast from 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. ($20 per person)
Mini Painting/Holiday Card/Jewelry Making Classes
12 -3 p.m. ($10-$20)
10 a.m.-7 p.m. (free and open to the public)
Absolutely Anything Essential Gift Shop
3521 S. King Drive
Includes more than 25 vendors and contributors
To register for breakfast or for more information, call (312) 238-9447.
Shop Small Shop Bronzeville
Saturday, November 25
Featured activities: Breakfast with Santa at Skidoe’s Café and Grill (235 E. 51st St) at 10 a.m.
Shop local retail pop-up at The Connection (4321 S. Cottage Grove Ave) 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Sip and Sing at Carver 47 (1060 E. 47th St.) 3-5 p.m.
To RSVP or for more information, visit: https://shopsmallshopbronzevillenov25.eventbrite.com
Connect South Shore Art Festival
Friday, November 24-Sunday, November 26
Just in time for Small Business Saturday, CONNECT SOUTH SHORE a 3-day pop-up marketplace in storefronts along 71st St featuring a tapestry of local and nationally regarded retailers, artists, musicians and filmmakers. The goal of the festival is to illustrate the richness of cultural expression while generating small business revenue.
Sponsored by Alderman Leslie Hairston, Special Service Area #42, the South Shore Chamber of Commerce with Eric Williams and Rob McKay of the famed Silver Room in Hyde Park.
Events scheduled to be held at: 1906, 1908, 2100, and 2226 E. 71st Street.
For more information, visit connectsouthshore.org
LickHer Dessert Plate (Sweet Treats)
Qiana Smith has been satisfying the sweet tooth of adults for 8 years with her liquor infused treats and sangria. From Apple Crown with caramel sauce, chocolate cake infused with Hennessy and strawberry daiquiri cupcakes to her delicious pineapple Ciroc sangaria, Smith has been helping adults of all ages have a good time all over the Chicagoland area.
Smith was first inspired to make alcoholic desserts after taking a trip to the Bahamas and tasting a rum cake. Taken aback by the dessert, she decided to take a class to learn how to make the dessert herself. Being inquisitive and having a passion for liquor, Mrs. Smith decided to mix and match liquor and cake recipes to create delicious and unique cakes that were so in demand by her family and friends when she made them for special occasions that she decided to quit her day job and make her passion her career instead.
Thus, LickHer Dessert Plate was created and Smith hasn’t looked back. Smith specializes at hosting pop-up shops at special events, such as the premiere for “A Bad Mom’s Christmas” at Marcus Cinema in Chicago Heights or House Heads Against Cancer. But if you want to order a cake, feel free to place an order on her popular Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/lickherdesserts2/. Rather sample her work first? Then feel free to visit her and other African American entrepreneurs on small business Saturday at Smitty’s Lounge, 15101 S. Halsted, where she will be selling slices of cake and cupcakes from 2-8 p.m. Use the phrase DEFENDER when purchasing your treats to get five dollars off your cumulative order. Need to see her sweets on display Add lickherdesserts on Instagram.
And as you shop locally, remember that money is returned to better our community—just look at how local organizations and business helped others this season!
The Hall of fame Softball Team Hot City All Stars recently gave away Thanksgiving baskets; families from the Englewood and areas around the city benefited from the event. The team’s manager, Curtis Granderson, said the team will continue this annual tradition to help others.
In response to the humanitarian crises in Puerto Rico (aftermath hurricane Maria), Doc Payne and the Payne Relief Smooth Blues Band recently hosted a fundraiser at Motor Row Brewing. Encouraged by Alderman Maldonado (26th Ward) and Congressman Luis V.Gutierrez, the event was opened to the public and featured a variety of music, free food and beverages, and a silent auction with a professional artistic painting to music. A $1,000 check was presented to the Puerto Rican Agenda community organization, which directs the Pallet and Planes program that transports emergency supplies (including water) to the island. Dr.Odie Payne, III (OB/GYN) will offer his medical services as needed.