Happy 2016 everyone! Like most people I start every year with a resolution – something I vow to do differently. While I wish I could say every resolution has been kept, I would guess most have been forgotten by February. This year however I am resolving to be different. I am giving myself such an easy layup that I can’t fail.
I am resolving to support local business.
To be honest, I have been so excited about this resolution that I started my quest in November with my holiday shopping. Milwaukee is the home to so many unique businesses with quality products this feels more like an exciting adventure than a daunting resolution.
I am not a local business owner. As much as I dream of being self employed the safety and security of a steady paycheck has overshadowed my entrepreneurial spirit. As much as I like to gamble, I haven’t been able to bring myself to double down and risk my life savings & my kids college tuition for the luxury of being my own boss. While I personally have not taken the plunge, many in Milwaukee have and have done it well. In many instances, what started as mom and pop shops have become household names across the nation – Miller, Sprecher, Palermo’s Pizza and SC Johnson, just to name a few.
Many are likely questioning why I care so much about local businesses when I myself am not a local business owner. The answer is simple. I love Milwaukee. As a native to the area I am extremely passionate about the city and all things Milwaukee. My ‘real life job’ has allowed me to spend a significant amount of time in the nation’s hottest cities. While I love the adventure of travel and the change of scenery, I’m always excited to come home to Milwaukee. Studies show that every $1 spent at a locally owned business, more than 68¢ stays local and impacts the local economy. Compare that same $1 spent at a chain store and only 43¢ remains in Milwaukee. We can all do our part to support the Milwaukee economy by choosing local businesses over chain stores and restaurants. I plan to spend 2016 doing just that – supporting local business. That is not to say that I am swearing off chains stores for 2016. It just means that I am going to become more acquainted with the great local restaurants, shops and services in Milwaukee. I encourage you to do the same and follow me along for the ride!