Winnebago Buy Local Movement Takes Steps To Transform County

- WINNEBAGO COUNTY - Candles, T-shirts, and dog treats all made in the City of Rockford line the shelves at Culture Shock, a locally owned store that focuses in on the importance of keeping business here in the Forest City.

“Local businesses are unlike any other business,” says Lauren Davis, the owner of Culture Shock.

Not only does Culture Shock sell local products to help out other shop owners, but they also spearhead the Winnebago Buy Local movement that provides nearly 200 local businesses with the tools to reach out to the community and encourage them to buy, think and eat local.

Davis is the Executive Director of Winnebago Buy Local and says the options to support Stateline businesses are endless.

“We have great local shops," she says.  "We have local services, local restaurants, local cafes, and local delis. There is so many local things to choose from.”

According to the Buy Local movement, each time money is spent at a locally owned business, the tax stays in Winnebago County to support resources like schools parks and law enforcement. When $100 is spent with a locally owned store, $68.00 returns back to the community.

“Every penny anyone spends in our local business makes a huge difference.” Said Davis

Shop owners say they have seen an increase in business at their downtown stores, and think the Buy Local movement has brought in revenue that otherwise would have gone out of the city.

Sonya Dowdakin, who owns the shop Salvaged by Sonya, says, "I have seen a huge increase in foot traffic into my shop, and i know that the other shops down here that are locally owned and are involved with Winnebago Buy Local are seeing more foot traffic.” 


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