Keep it Uptown: Tips to Support Local Businesses

During this challenging time, we want to share a few ways that you can work to support our local small businesses and organizations.

Keep it Uptown:

Many local businesses are still open and doing their best to get their products and services to those who need them. They’re taking extra care to sanitize their business and follow guidelines to keep customers and employees safe. Try to find what you need at small, locally owned businesses before looking at larger non-local (and online-only) businesses. Small, independent businesses will see the biggest impact of this crisis. We’ve built dedicated pages to share what we know about changes to local businesses and their hours, service changes, etc. (This page is still under construction.) Go to our Business Updates page to learn more.

Shop online:

Many local businesses have great websites that let you shop from the comfort of your own home.

Order directly:

Many of our local restaurants, cafes, and some shops are able to take orders online, from an app or with a simple phone cal. Many businesses who hadn’t are newly offering delivery or pick-up options. (Tip: It’s always best to call a restaurant or business directly. More of your money will go directly to the business instead of to a third-party app.)

Love you local businesses:

Supporting local businesses can be more than spending. Follow them on social media. Like their posts and give them positive comments. Tag them in a post. Most local businesses have seen business dramatically slow down, so let them know how much you love their product or service.

Share your love:

Is there a local business you really love? Now’s a great time to give them a glowing review on Yelp, Google, Facebook or other sites. This is a great way to help a business that might have had to close.

Get a gift for yourself:

Don’t want to order dinner or shop right now, but want another way to support local businesses? Get a gift card now and spend it later.

Fight stigma, racism, and the spread of rumors:

Remind people that viruses don’t target people of a certain race, ethnicity, or national origin. In a diverse community like Uptown, this is especially important. Many of our neighborhood’s Asian-owned businesses have seen a huge decrease in customers since January. Some of that decrease is due to rumors, misinformation, and racism.

Support the arts:

Did you get a ticket to a local play, fundraiser, or other event? Many of our small local theaters and organizations rely on ticket sales to keep going. If the show was cancelled and your ticket refunded, consider making a small donation to that organization.


Uptown’s nonprofit organizations provide critical services to the most vulnerable among us. Many organizations are going to be challenged during this uncertain time. If you’re able, consider donating to one of our many local nonprofits.


Do you have an idea about how to support local businesses during this time? Tag us on Instagram at @exploreuptownchi!


Our local businesses and organizations employ thousands of people. Most of Uptown’s businesses are owned by our neighbors, and they reflect the mosaic of Uptown’s diversity.


*Hat tip to our neighbors at the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce for a few of these ideas!