Gift guide puts focus on the Heights

Carolers serenade holiday shoppers in Coventry Village in 2015.

The Heights community is full of unique, independently owned businesses, and the holiday season is the most important time of year for them. For most, holiday sales determine if they are in the red or black for the year—and, for some, if they can continue to operate.

Studies show that holiday shopping at locally owned, independent businesses generates far more economic benefit in local communities than money spent online, at chains, or at businesses outside of the community.

A strategic planning firm, Civic Economics (, calculated that every $100 spent at a local business in one Chicago neighborhood re-circulated $68 in the local economy, compared with just $43 for $100 spent at a chain store in the same neighborhood.

The American Independent Business Alliance ( cites the benefits of spending locally: local businesses support the local tax base, their unique identities  add character to neighborhoods, they are often owned by people who live and work in the community and have a vested interest in its future. In addition, local business owners frequently serve on local boards and support local charitable causes.

Each year, FutureHeights publishes a Heights-specific gift guide in the November issue of the Heights Observer to help community members discover what our local businesses have to offer, and encourage them to shop local first. This year's guide begins on page 25 of the print issue.

Find the web version of the guide here: 2017 Heights Observer Holiday Gift Guide

Deanna Bremer Fisher

Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.

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Volume 10, Issue 11, Posted 2:51 PM, 11.01.2017