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New ‘We’re All In’ initiative encourages residents to shop local

As the holiday shopping season picks up, citizens, businesses, and state and local leaders are declaring “We’re All In” for shopping local to keep Wisconsin businesses and communities strong.

“The holiday shopping season is a great time to remember how important our local businesses are, whether it’s that special bakery, gift shop or restaurant, and what they mean to our communities,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). “While the COVID-19 pandemic may be changing the way we shop this year, our local stores have found creative ways to still connect with customers.”

Secretary Hughes will host a series of short videos on social media highlighting local businesses around the state as she shops for unique holiday gifts. Many of these businesses offer online sales, curbside pickup, delivery, or other ways that make it easy and safe for shoppers to buy from them. She will also be highlighting WEDC’s Main Street Marketplace website,, which features links to more than 350 businesses.

WEDC’s emphasis on shopping local is part of a broader We’re All In effort to encourage customers to support local businesses of all kinds. We’re All In is an initiative by WEDC and its partners to remind citizens that the health of our people and the health of our economy are intertwined. WEDC has provided more than $80 million in We’re All In grants funded by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to small businesses, while the We’re All In communications initiative informs citizens and businesses of public health best practices that will allow them to stay open when we all work together to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“There are lots of simple ways people can support local businesses throughout the year,” Secretary Hughes added. “You can buy goods from a neighborhood shop. Give social shoutouts to your favorite places. Or just tip a bit more when you can. The little things you do make a big difference and make you a hero in your own hometown. And if you have your own ideas for community support, you can share them on social media using #WeAreAllIn.”