Isthmus is urging readers to spend at least $100 of their holiday money this fall at locally owned stores in Dane County -- a move that could pump more than $15.9 million into the urban economy during this recession-plagued season.
The project is based on data showing that money spent in locally owned businesses tends to stay in the area and circulate through the community, increasing economic activity. Economists call this the multiplier effect.
To pledge online, visit Isthmus promotions.You will automatically be entered to win gift certificates from Willy St. Co-op, Dimaggio's Euro Design and the Downtown Madison Business Improvement District (BID). You can find a list of locally owned businesses at .
"Madison has always been supportive of locally owned businesses. This is just one more way to show our loyalty to these businesses, even in challenging economic times," said Colin Murray, Isthmus Advertising Manager and Dane Buy Local Board Member.
Isthmus joins the national East Bay Express in Berkeley/Oakland and the originator of the project.
"This is an incredibly exciting and unprecedented effort by the press to reach out and work with the local economic development community," said Erin Kilmer-Neel, program officer at OneCalifornia Foundation, and active member in both BALLE and AMIBA. "In my mind, this can be a perfect partnership -- local, independently-owned publications helping other local indie businesses in their community toward positive economic change."
Added Kilmer-Neel: "When people choose to shop at locally-owned, independent businesses in their communities, they are re-circulating dollars in those communities, supporting more local jobs, keeping their neighborhoods interesting and unique and reducing their carbon footprints.
The project will run through the holiday season.