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Pedestrian traffic on State Street. (WTTW News)

Sundays on State would shut down the thoroughfare from Lake to Madison streets on Sundays for up to 12 weeks, starting in July. It’s just one part of the Chicago Loop Alliance’s efforts to bring pedestrian traffic and retail dollars back to the city center as Chicago’s COVID-19 recovery continues.

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Macy’s is departing Water Tower Place. Will Target move in? (WTTW News file photo)

Rumors that the Minnesota-based retailer Target was sniffing around Water Tower Place on the Magnificent Mile for a potential new store led to some harsh backlash. What does it say about the future of the landmark shopping district as vacancy rates soar?

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Chicago artist Armando Rios — aka Mr. Barbudos. (WTTW News)

How a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in Humboldt Park — and now online — is helping Chicagoans invest in local artists. 

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Protests on Saturday, May 30, 2020 turned violent as some looters smashed store windows and stole merchandise. (Hugo Balta / WTTW News)

Mag Mile landlords dodge a new tax aimed at revitalizing the shopping strip following this summer’s unrest. Crain’s Chicago Business reporter Danny Ecker has details on this story and more.

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(WTTW News)

With the prospect of a long, dreary winter at home ahead, many Chicagoans are fluffing their nests with houseplants. We check in with some local plant shops to see how business is growing.

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“Cherry” by artist Sung-Hee Min is on display at 1701 W. North Ave. (Ariel Parrella-Aureli / WTTW News)

Six new works on display as part of the Chicago Sculpture Exhibit aim to get community members outside to explore the area and support local businesses as winter sets in amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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(WTTW News via CNN)

The coronavirus pandemic is driving holiday shoppers in the U.S. online — and they’re expected to spend a record $12.7 billion on Cyber Monday. Crain’s Chicago Business reporter Danny Ecker has details.

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Shoppers pass an Indigo Friday 40% Off sign Saturday, Nov. 28, 2020, on Chicago’s famed Magnificent Mile shopping district. (AP Photo / Charles Rex Arbogast)

Black Friday online sales hit a new record this year as pandemic-wary Americans filled virtual carts instead of real ones.

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(WTTW News)

After an unprecedented year, we take a hard look at the pandemic-ravaged economy, as businesses gear up for the all-important holiday retail season. 

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C. Spike Trotman (WTTW News)

As 2020 comes to a close, the events of this unprecedented year have devastated Chicago’s small businesses. Why it’s more important than ever to support neighborhood shops.

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Momentum Coffee and Coworking is among the first businesses announced for Black Shop Friday. (Momentum Coffee and Coworking / Facebook)

“Black Friday has been around for a long time, but what has been missing is the Blackness,” said the creators of the program, which encourages people to support Black-owned businesses in Chicago this holiday season.

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An item from the Nadur Collection on the website of local fair trade business Blossom Inspirations. (Credit: Blossom Inspirations)

How the local business Blossom Inspirations is building bridges between American and Latino cultures through artisan crafts.

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This Sept. 4, 2020, photo, shows Regio, a Mexican toilet paper brand, on the shelf at a CVS in New York. (AP Photo / Joseph Pisani)

Demand for toilet paper has been so high during the pandemic that in order to keep their shelves stocked, retailers are buying up foreign toilet paper brands, mostly from Mexico.

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A makeshift sign announces a temporary business closure following looting in downtown Chicago in the early hours of Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. (WTTW News)

There’s a very real anxiety that Chicago’s main shopping districts are on the precipice of falling apart. And without the revenue generated from those areas, the city faces a potentially disastrous fiscal future.

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(Illinois Farmers Market Association / Facebook)

A flood of farmers markets are getting ready to open, but visitors should expect a different experience in 2020. For starters, there will be no picking through produce and dawdling will be discouraged. 

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Restaurants and businesses in Chinatown prepare to reopen on Thursday, June 24, 2020, the eve of Chicago’s transition into phase four. (WTTW News)

It was the first neighborhood to feel the economic impact of COVID-19. Months later, on the eve of the city’s move into phase four, the enduring message is that Chinatown is still here, and it is open for business.