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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today's stream is sponsored by Maxie's

Shopping local for the holidays adds up

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  • Local First Milwaukee's Nancy Quinn at the Shop Local Gift Fair. Hundreds of people shopped at the indoor market, hosted at Lakefront Brewery over the weekend.
  • Quinn says spending just 10% of your holiday budget at local retailers could add up to $311 million dollar injection into the local economy.

A few changes to where you do your holiday shopping could add up to a big boost to the local economy.

That's according to Nancy Quinn, director of Local First Milwaukee, a network of more than 200 locally owned and operated businesses and non-profits.

"Just start with 10 percent.  Even when you go out to eat," she said.  "If Milwaukeeans would shift just 10 percent more from where they are today, $311 million would be left in our community."

Quinn suggests browsing local makers and retailers -- businesses owned by Milwaukeeans -- before heading to a big box store or outlet mall.  

And while she admits it may be unrealistic to do all of your shopping at locally owned businesses, she says even that small 10 percent shift can add up to a ripple effect.

"Every dollar that's spent at a local business, studies show, recirculates two to three times more in our local economy," she said.

Local businesses owners also tend to support other nearby business or turn to them for the ingredients needed to make their products, Quinn added.

Local first Milwaukee has a directory of its member merchants.  Check it out here to plan your holiday shopping.