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Local

Geneva takes credit for 'shop small' concept

Little Traveler founder Kate Raftery turned Geneva's 3rd Street into shopping mecca

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. Mayor Kevin Burns also officially proclaimed Nov. 30 as Small Business Saturday. Burns urged shoppers to support their community's stores on that day.
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. Mayor Kevin Burns also officially proclaimed Nov. 30 as Small Business Saturday. Burns urged shoppers to support their community's stores on that day.

GENEVA – Geneva is taking credit for the “shop small” movement starting nearly a century ago with Kate Raftery opening The Little Traveler in 1922 at 404 S. Third St., according to a news release from the city.

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

“Virtually every one of our neighbors, both retailers and restaurateurs, is an independent entrepreneur with a really unique concept,” Simon stated in the release. “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.”

As 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, city officials urge including supporting local merchants on Small Business Saturday Nov. 30.

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,” Burns stated in the release. “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.” 

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.

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

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