The Wicker Park-Bucktown Chamber of Commerce will begin to distribute copies of its annual holiday guide next week as part of its annual Unwrap WPB campaign. The chamber runs the campaign every year as an effort to promote the area as a holiday destination and draw customers to local businesses for the holiday season.
The guide is currently available as a PDF on the chamber's website and will be available in print with about 50 concierges around the city, as well as the more than 50 participating Wicker Park and Bucktown businesses, according to Chamber Executive Director Adam Burck. Copies will also be available on the trolleys that will be running through the area on the campaign's kickoff weekend, which coincides with the Renegade Craft Fair Dec. 1-2.
According to Burck, this year's guide differs from last year's with the addition of several photo spreads, which feature specific businesses and products in the area and make the guide more like a holiday catalog.
The other major change from last year's Unwrap WPB campaign, according to Burck, is the addition of the Shop for Schools program, in which 14 local businesses will donate a percentage of customers' purchases to local schools. The seventeen participating schools serve about 12,000 families.
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"Between December 1 and 9, if they shop at one of the 14 participating businesses, they will get a percent of their purchase donated back to their school," Burck said. "They just save the receipts and turn them in to the chamber or their school office."
In addition to providing a way for local businesses and the chamber to give back to the community for the holidays, the Shop for Schools program has the added benefit of allowing the chamber to track how much of an impact the Unwrap WPB campaign is having on area businesses.
"The feedback we got from last year's guide, you know, some people were getting a lot of purchases from it, but we didn’t have any kind of quantifiable data, other than what we got subjectively back from the participating vendors," Burck said. "So part of the Shop for Schools campaign will allow us to have a very quantifiable impact, because we'll know how much [is coming in], just from the schools element of the campaign."
While not every business is featured in this year's guide or the Shop for Schools campaign, Burck said the main goal of Unwrap WPB is to draw attention to the area as a whole—so ideally everybody could benefit from it.
"The entire campaign is just advertising the neighborhood as a shopping destination as well, so whether or not someone's in the guide ... the community as a whole is just getting a nice shout-out," Burck said.