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Easy ways to shop local for the holidays

Whether you're scratching the final few names off your holiday shopping list, or you haven't begun yet (me either), a local organization is encouraging you to shop, well, local.

Local First Milwaukee is an online network of more than 200 local businesses.  Its directory includes traditional retailers, professional and paraprofessional services, restaurants, bars, breweries and online stores.

And browing is as simple as a few mouse clicks.

By skimming its  list of member organizations, you learn more about which local businesses are in the network and discover new ones your may not have known about.  Then, you can easily plan your shopping trip using the built-in map feature.

Of course, not all Miwlaukee businesses are members of local first.  Some crafters run their businesses part-time or are too small for a traditional storefront.  You can still support them -- just head online to services like Etsy to browse Milwaukee's crafter community.

Click the podcast player above to learn more about Local First and hear from local jewelry maker Kelly Fitzpatrick, owner of  Velvadeer.

Director of Digital Content | Radio Milwaukee