FAQ for chambers and neighborhood champions

How do I, the representative of a Chicago neighborhood Chamber of Commerce, Business Development Corporation, Economic Development Agency, or other Business Organization, participate in the Shop Local Chicago Neighborhood Rewards program?


  • You must have signed up for the Small Business Saturday Coalition and/or Neighborhood Champion by November 11.  If you have not done so, you cannot receive Neighborhood Rewards funding through Local First Chicago.
  • E-mail Megan Kruis at Local First Chicago, megan@localfirstchicago.org, listing your minimum of 10 local-independent businesses.  
    • Please list businesses in the order of their sign-up date.
    • The Coalition will purchase gift certificates from those 10 local, independent businesses which will be used for the Shop Local Chicago Neighborhood Rewards program (see below).  
  • You will receive confirmation that you are signed up. 


The Shop Local Chicago Neighborhood Rewards program rewards your neighborhood consumers for shopping at local, independent businesses:

  • Holiday shoppers that spend a total of $300.00 at local, independent businesses on retail products, gift certificates, or services, will be eligible to receive a reward of $50.00 in the form of a local business gift certificate. 
  • Holiday shoppers collect receipts from a minimum of 3 different local, independent businesses and deliver a copy of the receipts to the participating Business Organization.
  • A minimum of $25.00 before tax and gratuity must be spent at the local, independent business for the receipt to be included.  A maximum of $100 may be spent on groceries and liquor.  Medications and memberships expenditures are not included.  Receipts must be from November 26-December 24, 2016.
  • A list of participating Business Organizations will be listed at www.localfirstchicago.org
  • All copies of receipts must be submitted with holiday shopper information including name, return address, phone number, email address, and zip code. 
  • Rewards in the form of a $50.00 gift certificate will be distributed on a first come-first served basis.  
  • Copies of all receipts must be submitted to the Business Organization by January 6, 2016.
  • Offer only good while supplies last, one submission per person.  

After you have signed up as a Coalition member and as a Neighborhood Champion and after you have emailed Megan at Local First Chicago with your 10 business participants, follow these steps to administer the Shop Local Chicago Neighborhood Rewards program: 

Step One – Organize. 

  • Receive Neighborhood Rewards Tracking Spreadsheet and Marketing Toolkit from Local First Chicago.  Assign tracking and publicity responsibilities within your organization. 
  • Purchase $50.00 gift certificates from 10 of your local, independently owned businesses. (These are the same 10 businesses that you emailed to Megan at Local First Chicago.)

 Step Two – Track.

  • Fill out consumer information and business receipt information on the Neighborhood Rewards Tracking Spreadsheet as receipts are turned into the Business Organization.  Business Organization must fill out spreadsheets in order to receive rewards payment.  

Step Three – Report. 

  • Send your Neighborhood Rewards Tracking Spreadsheet AND proof of purchase of gift certificates from your local, independent businesses to Megan at Local First Chicago, megan@localfirstchicago.org, by one week after final receipt submission day (Friday, January 13th) at the latest.  
  • You will receive compensation only after your documentation is submitted.  

 Step Four – Reward.

  • Send gift certificates by mail to qualifying consumers.  Gift certificates must be mailed out by participating Business Organization no later than Friday, February 3rd 2017.


Contact Megan Kruis at megan@localfirstchicago.org with any questions.  


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