Elmhurst businesses encourage support of local charities, environment

ELMHURST – Two days after Thanksgiving comes Small Business Saturday - and a reminder to shop local.

John Quigley, the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry's CEO and President, said the shopping holiday, which credit card company American Express started as a promotional campaign, is designed to inform residents of the impact they have on the finances of their own community by their support of locally owned and operated businesses. American Express,

Quigley said most money people spend at a locally owned and operated business remains in the community in a variety of ways including through sales taxes, payroll taxes and the salary of people who work in the community.

"Retail sales tax is the single largest income item in the city's [of Elmhurst] budget, and because retail sales tax has produced well over the last several years, the city has not had to raise its property tax rate," Quigley said.

Quigley added that small locally owned business are among the biggest supporters of nonprofits and charitable operations operating in Elmhurst.

"They're the ones donating to the annual fundraiser by those entities. They're the ones donating products, goods and services to be auctioned off. All those kinds of things," Quigley said.

Melissa Villanueva, who owns Brewpoint Coffee with her husband Angelo Sepulveda, said Small Business Saturday is also an opportunity for people to remain conscientious of the products they purchase and consider the environmental and social justice implications of their shopping decisions.

Brewpoint will hold an event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 24 at the workshop and roastery, at 617 N. York St. in Elmhurst, where it will sell a lot of its own items like eco-friendly coffee items like metal straws and biotre packaged boxed coffee, Villanueva said. Biotre is a kind of eco-friendly packaging for storing coffee products, she said.

The event will also feature local vendors and their items, including Dickens Candles, re-purposed coffee sacks from Fuller & Howe, Re4mado Photography and Tipsy Vegan's 100 percent plant-based desserts.

“They can buy a couple items for the holidays and feel really good about the products that they’re getting,” Villanueva said.

With the purchase of an item from the artisans, patrons can receive a 25 percent discount on drinks at the roastery, she said.

Villanueva said Brewpoint Coffee also launched Nov. 15 its e-commerce portal on its website,, where people across the U.S. can order Brewpoint products including holiday gift sets.

Jennifer Veremis, owner of The Beauty Lounge, 118 S. York St., Suite 105, Elmhurst, said her business donated $500, or 10 percent of the projected amount of sales for Small Business Saturday, in October to the American Legion Post 187, an Elmhurst veterans organization.

She said she would love to donate more to the post if the business sells more than $5,000 in gift certificates during December.

"It's a great way to give a gift that gives back," Veremis said.

For the past four years, The Beauty Lounge has donated 10 percent of its gross gift certificate sales to an organization supporting active service members and veterans, including The USO of Illinois and the Elmhurst Veterans Memorial, she said.

Veremis encouraged shoppers to support businesses that will "pay it forward" in terms of local charitable giving.

"Small Business Saturday shouldn't just be you come and shop on Saturday [Small Business Saturday]. ... Small business holiday shopping ... should really be the full holiday season," Veremis added.

The Beauty Lounge will also have an online deal on Small Business Saturday in which people will receive a $5 bonus gift certificate for every purchase $50 in gift certificates. The lounge's website is at