8 Chicago Small Business Gifts to Support Minority-Owned Companies

Garr Punnett

November 29, 2020

If we have learned anything in 2020, it’s that resilient economies are rooted in the relationships between neighbors and their local businesses. When you buy that cookie, a pair of jeans or some pizza from the shop down the road, it not only supports your neighbor’s dream of owning a business but also has the potential to further economic mobility, social harmony, and justice on a micro and macro level.

Rheaply is celebrating the holiday season by giving teammates gift cards from local & Black- and Brown-owned Chicago small businesses.

Chicago small business gift guide

In Chicago, we have hundreds of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have been and will continue to be greatly impacted by store closures, limited foot traffic and reduced spending around their neighborhoods. Unsurprisingly, minority owned businesses will be disproportionately affected and at Rheaply, we’ve been vocal about building more connected commerce that enables growth for minority owned business communities

In the spirit of that thinking, we curated a list of our favorite Chicago local businesses and purchased Rheaply team gifts that support local manufacturing, husband & wife teams or bold entrepreneurs passionate about our connection to food! 

Dearborn Denim

“The Most Comfortable Jeans Imaginable” is the tagline of this company with locations in Andersonville, Hyde Park, Lincoln Park, and Printer’s Row. They’re dedicated to ethical apparel manufacturing and creating products that are long lasting and affordable.

The Silver Room

Located in Hyde Park and founded by Eric Williams in 1997, The Silver Room has been supporting local designers, hosting events and building community for over 20 years. Their online shop features a variety of apparel, accessories, and books from local creators.

Tuanis Chocolate

Tuanis Chocolate purchases cacao beans directly from farmers in Costa Rica, ensuring high-quality in their product and promoting well-being and sustainability of farmers and their families. Based out of The Plant in Back Of The Yards, you are sure to get the absolute best quality chocolate in the city.

Paulette’s Public Market

Paulette’s Public Market is a neighborhood market in Pilsen offering a fresh and packaged grocery section, chef-driven food and made-to-order deli sandwiches. Guests can also shop through a selection of packaged charcuterie and cheese, prepared salads, grab-n-go dinners, pastries from local bakeries, fresh floral arrangements, and more.

Five Squared Pizza

Owned by Jenn and Steve Kaplan, this husband/wife duo brings mostly organic and high quality Detroit-style pizza squares to the Windy City. For those days you get bored of deep dish.

Tubby’s Taste

Tubby’s Taste is a delicious dessert company that is surprisingly vegan. The founder, Danielle “Tubby” Tubbs comes from a long line of Jamaican cake ladies on one side and a host of African-American foodies on the other.

Down State Donuts

Using a not-so-secret ingredient of potato mash in their donuts, you can usually find co-founders Virgil & Peter carting their donut trike around a number of Chicago neighborhoods. Andersonville is a safe place to start searching we’ve heard.

Frogtown Juice Co.

Naming his company to honor his grandmother Alice who was born and raised in Frogtown, KY, founder Kyle creates a number of delicious juices made from natural sources and fresh ingredients. Find him at farmer’s markets around the city and every week in Wicker Park or Downers Grove.

How can the circular economy embolden social justice & reform?

In short, support is the missing ingredient needed to make the circular economy work as it’s meant to – for everyone. Scaling the circular economy will not be realized simply by the triumphant crusade of sustainably- and circular-minded organizations. It’s going to come down to inter-organizational connectedness to resources and resource flows, and through this connectedness, economic empowerment for all.

We cannot forward our sustainable development goals without first developing a framework that actually incentivizes social equity & reform. 

When it came to gift giving this season, we felt that it was the perfect time to live out the message we often tell our own partners and clients: 

Invest in what you value, and stop and think about the purchasing choices we make.

Discover Better. Together.

Rheaply’s vision is to make the world’s resources visible, easily transferable, and more valuable in our global marketplace.