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Posted on: November 13, 2019

Geneva Paved The Way For The 'Shop Small' Movement Nearly 100 Years Ago

Shopping In Geneva

The City of Geneva is no stranger to supporting small businesses. In fact, Geneva’s first small shop dates back nearly a century when The Little Traveler established itself as the first store to open its doors on Third Street in 1922.

Located in the heart of downtown Geneva, The Little Traveler now boasts 36 departments, or rooms, of treasurers including gifts, housewares, clothes, toys, food and wine.

“The Little Traveler’s Founder Mrs. Kate Raftery is largely responsible for Third Street being the unique destination it is today,” said Mike Simon, owner of The Little Traveler.

One of the Midwest’s most unique shopping districts, Geneva offers more than 150 independent retailers, restaurants and establishments in its historic downtown. With the holiday season approaching, there is no better place to shop than Geneva, including supporting local merchants on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30.

Geneva retailers aiming to join the “shop small” movement may stop by City Hall, 22 S. First St., to pick up a variety of Small Business Saturday marketing materials, while supplies last. Residents, local area shoppers and retailers celebrating Small Business Saturday are encouraged to use the #shopsmallgeneva hashtag on social media to show support of Geneva and its exceptional small shop history.

Mayor Kevin Burns also officially proclaimed Nov. 30 as Small Business Saturday at a recent City Council meeting.

“Geneva’s small business environment has been and remains the central theme to our community’s unique story,” said Mayor Burns. “Geneva’s local business owners shape our City for the better. On Small Business Saturday, please join me in supporting the many independent retailers in Geneva just as they have always supported our community.”  

When Geneva and Chicago area shoppers are seeking boutiques to visit, it is easy to see why Geneva is their destination of choice.

“Virtually every one of our neighbors, both retailers and restaurateurs, is an independent entrepreneur with a really unique concept,” Simon said. “It is hard to find any business in downtown Geneva that follows a traditional formula, and it’s that element of pleasant surprise that impresses people, and brings them back.”

People looking to plan out their holiday shopping experience are encouraged to visit the City’s website and click the “Explore Geneva” tab at the top for maps, a business directory and more information.

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