One of the great things about writing this blog is that there are ample opportunities to highlight organizations hoping to make an impact on Chicago neighborhoods and the greater community. Local First Chicago is one such organization, and we're more than happy to highlight an upcoming event where you can learn more about them.
Local First Chicago's mission is to strengthen Chicago's neighborhood economies by promoting the benefits of locally owned, independent businesses. They do this by promoting how neighborhoods and consumers benefit from a strong base of local businesses; making finding locally owned, independent businesses easier through their directory; educate local neighborhood organizations, city officials, and Chambers of Commerce on the benefits of locally owned, independent businesses; and providing Shop Local campaign material to businesses and local chambers. Local First Chicago is also encouraging customers to shop locally on "Small Business Saturday" on November 26th. (Here are details about their efforts during the upcoming holiday season)
This Tuesday, November 15th, you will have the opportunity to learn more about Local First Chicago....and about how a new city ordinance will affect local businesses.
Back in June, the City Council passed an ordinance which provided earned sick time to Chicago workers in businesses of all sizes. The ordinance allows employees to earn one hour of sick time for every 40 hours worked (up to 5 sick days a year), and allows them to roll over up to 20 hours of unused sick time to the next year. More recently, the Cook County Commission passed a similar ordinance.
Local First Chicago will be holding an event titled "High Road Practice: Paid Leave" at the Overflow Coffee Bar located at 1550 South State. Moderated by Megan Kruis of Local First Chicago and Julia Watts of the American Sustainable Business Council, the event will focus on conversations around what it means to be a "High Road Employer"; the rewards and challenges of offering paid leave, and an examination of what the Chicago sick time ordinance will mean for small businesses. (You can easily RSVP via Eventbrite - there is a cost, and appetizers and beverages will be provided).
Speakers at the event include
- Tony Dreyfuss, Co-Founder, Metropolis Coffee Company
- Christine Cikowski, Managing Partner, Honey Butter Fried Chicken
- Joshua Kulp Managing Partner, Honey Butter Fried Chicken
- Jennifer Lollino, Human Resources Director, Earth Friendly Products, and
- Anne Ladky, Executive Director, Women Employed
Part of this blog's mission has focused on highlighting community and economic development efforts throughout Chicago. Although seemingly tangential, Local First Chicago is driving efforts to bring dollars back into our community neighborhoods by fostering small business growth and patronage.
And that's the kind of patronage Chicago needs.