Let’s talk about Social Responsibility. Does the term create a numbing feeling? (It does for me). Does it conjure up images of large corporations and “CSR programs?”
In Logan Square, there is a real and authentic community spirit alive among neighborhood businesses. Here are some original ways businesses in Logan Square carry community values and remind us what it means to really run a socially responsible business.
Creating Community Activities
Logan Square businesses have consistently teamed up with local arts and cultural organizations in the neighborhood and created fun activities for residents.
Local organizations, such as I Am Logan Square (@IAmLoganSquare, 2644 1/2 N. Milwaukee Ave.) and the Comfort Station (@Comfort_Station, 2579 N. Milwaukee Ave.), have teamed up with local businesses, such as the Busy Beaver Button Co. (@BusyBeaver, 3279 W. Armitage Ave.) and *play (@playlogansquare, 3109 W. Logan Blvd.) to create events for the community.
Recently, I Am Logan Square and Busy Beaver Button Co. held a joint event to celebrate and showcase a collection of artwork from the employees at Busy Beaver Button Co. while providing a creative space for kids to make their own colorful buttons.
Kids had a great time; employees had a chance to show off their artful talents, and both Busy Beaver and *play had a chance to contribute to and have fun with the community.
Being a Good Neighbor
Most of Logan Square’s small businesses are run and managed by real individuals who are also business owners. These owners understand the value of being a good neighbor, and many carry those same ethics and principles in how they serve the community.
Many residents who have talked with Nancy Kamp, owner of Half Italian Grocer (2643 N. Milwaukee Ave.), know she embodies good business ethics. From homemade chocolate-covered toffee to her fresh daily soups, all that home-cooking may make customers feel at home, but Kamp and her staff know the regulars by name. They have a mutual commercial respect for neighboring businesses. They share products and build friendships.
Logan Square businesses show that good neighbor practices are the friendly and binding ties in our community.
How can an “atmosphere” of social responsibility and community be established?
For Tony Bezsylko and his partners, Ethan Pikas and Justin Behlke, at Cellar Door Provisions (3025 W. Diversey Ave.), communal dining is an intentionally designed community-centric atmosphere. The intimate café at Cellar Door Provisions serves 20 people. Much of the seating is at a long table where new and old friends can enjoy the warm café experience while eating local artisanal breakfast or lunch.
Cellar Door Provisions extends their communal dining theme to include special event single-seating dinners at the restaurant from time to time. Their view of “local” is all about sharing local space, local food and local community.
What are your favorite businesses that have demonstrated social responsibility?