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Dane County officials encourage shopping local to help businesses during holidays

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Dane County officials are encouraging people to shop local this holiday season, as local businesses struggle to stay afloat due to COVID-19.

Dane Buy Local has developed several ways to help people safely shop local. A local business MarketPlace can be found on the Dane Buy Local website for online ordering and delivery along with holiday gift ideas. Dane Buy Local will also be premiering its new gift card, which recipients will be able to use at a variety of local businesses.

Dane Buy Local Executive Director Colin Murray says with the pandemic, most members are experiencing reduced revenues from lower sales. Limited shopping hours and people in the business have all contributed to this challenge.

"Things are really going to look much different this year because of the pandemic," Murray said. "It is still really important and more important than ever that we support our local businesses and do it in a safe manner."

According to Civic Economics, when you spend a dollar at an independent business, about 47 cents returns to the local economy. If you spend it at a chain store, only 14 cents return. 

"I want to come out on the other side of this with as many of our small businesses - those who give us the identify in our communities of who we are - still in tact," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.

Shop Indie Local launched November 1 and runs through December 31, to encourage consumers to shop at local, independently owned businesses throughout the holiday season. Shop Indie Local rolls together Plaid Friday (November 27), Small Business Saturday (November 28), Artsy Sunday (November 29), Local Cyber Monday (November 30), and Giving Tuesday (December 1).

Emily Friese

27 News Producer

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