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In 2010, Winnebago Buy Local was born.

Winnebago County was missing something – a grassroots group dedicated to advocating specifically for Local Businesses. Our community needed a resource and our local business owners needed a support system, so a small group of local business owners came together to provide a building block in the solution for our community. After careful planning, those business owners created a group who’s mission was to promote and inspire the public to Think Local, Support Local & Buy Local, as well as encourage local business owners to stand together and use power in numbers to make a difference in our community.

Since 2010, Winnebago Buy Local has grown from a few small businesses working together, into around 200 businesses in the community working towards a common mission. Together, we have provided charitable donations to local non-for-profits and created annual events that bring the community closer to Local Business owners and spread awareness of the benefits to buying local. We continue to work each and every year to provide the county of Winnebago, IL with tools that make it easy to buy local and find local resources, as well as provide education and opportunities for local business owners to succeed.

Why are we so passionate about buying local?

✓ In the past 17 years, small businesses have accounted for 65% of all net new jobs.

✓ Small businesses currently employ 77 million Americans.

✓ 89% of consumers agree that independent businesses positively contribute to local economies.

✓ On average, residential neighborhoods served by a successful independent business district gains 50% more in home values than their citywide markets.

✓ Independent retailers return more than 3x as much money per dollar of sales than chain competitors.

✓ Independent restaurants return more than 2x as much money per dollar of sales than national restaurant chains.

✓ If independent businesses regained their 1990 market shares, it would create 200,000 new small businesses, generate nearly $300 billion in revenue and employ more than 1.6 million American workers.

✓ If 50% of the U.S. employed population spent just $50 each month in locally-owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.

✓ For every square foot a local firm occupies, the local economy gains $179 vs. $105 for a national chain store.

Statistics from Retail Index; Civic Economics/American Booksellers Assoc., U.S. Dept. of Labor |

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