Winnebago Buy Local Boosts Small Businesses

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When you're a small business, it can seem pretty daunting to go up against big box stores with more resources. But there's an organization that helps local shops succeed.

Rhiannon Stanuch didn't know much about running a business when she first opened the Bookworm Bakery and Cafe a year a half ago. That's why she teamed up with other local shops with more experience.

"It's been awesome," said Stanuch. "They are really supportive when you have questions about accounting or all those crazy things you have to know when you're in business. But they also create a nice community that allows us to afford some advertising and really connect with each other. It's been great."

The Bookworm Bakery and Cafe is one of 115 locally-owned businesses that are a part of an organization called "Winnebago Buy Local." The group helps business owners network with one another and cross promote each other's products.

"It really has been fun to watch all these businesses grow," said Winnebago Buy Local director Lauren Davis. "And I think it's just one of those things where when you're sharing ideas with each other and you know, bouncing ideas back and forth, I think it can really help motivate people to get something done."

Saturday, Winnebago Buy Local hosted its second annual holiday market to showcase thirty stateline vendors.. organizers say the event lets customers shop at multiple shops under one roof.

"To keep the money in the community," said Teryn Skowronski about what she likes about shopping locally. "And you know, you start getting to know the people. I know the lady that does the lotions and I've seen her multiple times. It's just nice knowing that, you know, you see the person that the money goes to."

Money that store owners like Stanuch hope will stay local.

Winnebago Buy Local organizers say approximately 68 percent of revenue from local businesses goes back into the local economy through things like taxes and payroll.

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