First there was Black Friday. Then along came Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday. And finally, based on growing desire and demand from consumers all across the country, the American Express Company launched their “Shop Small” initiative, a major push to support small, local, independent businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

While shopping local may have finally claimed a slot in the official kick-off to the holiday shopping season, many efforts and initiatives happen all throughout the year, on a smaller scale and closer to home – which, of course, is the essence of what buying local is all about. From gallery nights to community “bucks” good only at local businesses to organizations such as Dane Buy Local, more and more people are realizing the impact of shopping closer to home.

According to American Express, there are 445,445 small businesses in operation around Wisconsin, which is 99.4% of all businesses. Wow! And the benefit of supporting local businesses has ripple effects throughout the communities they serve. Dane Buy Local highlights a few of the best reasons to keep it close to home:

  • The casual encounters you enjoy at neighborhood businesses and the public spaces around them build relationships and community cohesiveness. It’s the ultimate in social networking!
  • Each dollar you spend at independent businesses returns three times more money to your local economy than one spent at a chain or big box store.
  • Independent businesses shape our collective character and help give your community its distinct personality.
  • Independent, community-serving businesses are people-sized. They typically consume less land, carry more locally-made products, locate closer to residents, and create less traffic and air pollution.
  • More efficient land use and more central locations mean local businesses put less demand on our roads, sewers, and safety. They also generate more tax revenue per sales dollar. The bottom line: a greater percentage of local independent businesses will help keep your taxes lower.

Klinke Cleaners is proud to be a local, independent, family-owned business serving our Milwaukee and Madison communities since 1933. We love to shop local, and encourage you to do the same!

(c) Can Stock Photo / casejustin