Citizen Wausau

A Site About Life in Wausau, Wisconsin

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Shop Local

by on December 2nd, 2008

I may be a few days late – as the big shopping weekend has come and gone – but I would like to mention the “Buy Local” campaign that City Pages has been promoting the past few weeks. Having worked on this for the past month, I am very excited about reminding everyone about the huge impact we can have on our local economy.

Although the idea came from a national organization that City Pages is a part of, the idea of spending money at independent, locally owned stores is a simple one that is growing.

When spending your money at a big box chain store, some of the money does stay in the community. However, the percentage of money spent that stays in the community is so much more if spent at a locally owned retailer.

Here are some of the ideas I would promote that we all think about during the holiday season, and throughout the rest of the year. And let’s not confuse “Buying Local” with shopping only downtown, as one person I spoke with believed. There are downtown shops that have lead the way for years, such as Evolutions and Janke’s.

But gift shops are abundant in our area, from Ambiance and LPG in Mosinee, up to Gifted Sisters, Treasure Mill, or the String Bead. Two of the best places to shop for gifts are All About Art on 3rd Avenue, and the CVA downtown – filled with jewelry, pottery, scarves, woodworking as well as watercolors, photography and other art.

Most of the jewelers in town are independent – except for the chain stores in the mall.

Speaking of the mall, there are a few independently owned stores, such as Packerland Plus – are there others?

I admit there are some items I feel I had to buy at a chain store because they weren’t available at independent retailers – a digital camera, or career clothes for my college age son – gotta go to Penney’s!

When Christmas is over, I challenge you to continue to buy local. Getting your hair cut – local or chain? And if you need a snow blower, Grebe’s or Menards? (and I’ll tell you that Grebe’s delivers for free – with a full tank of gas! When ours needed a slight repair and was still under warranty, Grebe’s came to my garage and fixed the snow blower for free! Remember that when you feel like you need might get a better deal at a box store). For light bulbs and other hardware, Home Depot or the locally owned ACE Hardware in Weston. (Is Charlie’s Hardware in Mosinee locally owned?)

Needing a picture framed? I challenge you to check out Cheryl’s Framing or Wausau Art & Framing (just re-opened last week under new owners) or Picture Perfect at Cedar Creek; I know you think you’re getting a great deal with that 50% off coupon for Michael’s – but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you give an independent framing shop a chance.

I encourage each of you to let us know other local stores you would like us to visit.

And if you go to www.thecitypages.com/pledge and pledge to spend at least $100 locally this season, you will be in a drawing for almost $2,000 in gift certificates that area merchants have donated. You must enter by Wed. Dec. 3. BUY LOCAL!

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