Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. Chicago neighborhoods are anchored by Chicago Legacy Businesses. Chicago Legacy Businesses are often multi-generational, family-owned, and locally operated. Business owners often live in their community and employ people from their community.
Chicago Legacy Businesses are a reflection of Chicago which is culturally rich and ethnically diverse. Their authenticity and uniqueness contribute to the quality of life for Chicagoans.
Pressure from rising rents and competition from national chains has forced many Chicago Legacy Businesses to close. The economic impact of the pandemic has made it even more challenging for Chicago Legacy Businesses to survive.
Chicago Legacy Businesses have been supporting Chicago and serving Chicagoans for decades. Now is the time we must recognize, celebrate and support them.
By recognizing and celebrating Chicago Legacy Businesses, Preservation Chicago hopes that Chicagoans will choose to support them by “voting with their wallets”. The simplest way for individuals to support Chicago Legacy Businesses is by shopping, dinning and drinking at these establishments.
Additionally, Preservation Chicago hopes that City of Chicago will take steps to pass a Chicago Legacy Business Protection Ordinance to help recognize, celebrate and financially support Chicago Legacy Businesses. Successful legacy business programs have been implemented in San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and others.
The list and map below is a work-in-progress and is the result of hundreds of responses through a crowd-sourced request for nominations through social media. This Chicago Legacy Business list is a great start, but is far from complete. Preservation Chicago will proactively reach out to chambers of commerce and other neighborhood organizations to try to fill in some of the gaps in the list so that the wonderful diversity that makes Chicago great is better reflected.
We invite you to submit any additional Chicago Legacy Businesses that haven’t yet been added to the list through the comment section below, email or social media. General rules for Chicago Legacy Businesses include: located in Chicago, locally-owned, and in business for at least 25 years old.