ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A small business coalition is calling it quits after 13 years.

According to a press release, the Winnebago Buy Local board, which started in 2010 to support small businesses in the Rockford area, is taking “an indefinite pause” and “lovingly and enthusiastically passing the torch onto the community and future organizations.”

“Over the years, we have been excited to see the push to buy local as well as the growth of other local business support organizations, as we have always had a “more than merrier outlook,” said Founder and Board President of Winnebago Buy Local, Lauren V. Davis. “We wanted local businesses to succeed, period. As an organization, we are comfortable saying we worked hard to achieve the goals we set, time and time again to the extent of our grassroots resources. As we pause and look to the future, we look forward to supporting and cheering on all organizations that continue to support our initial mission.”

The non-profit group ran networking events, and conferences, created business directories, and operated a Local Holiday Market (from 2010-2019).

“I want to thank the past and present board members of Winnebago Buy Local. They have helped raise awareness about the importance of buying locally and have helped countless businesses,” said Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara. “I hope our residents continue to patronize local businesses, help our economy and support our neighbors.”

Davis added, “While Winnebago Buy Local will not return in its original form, we are all looking forward to the future. With the knowledge, application, and implementation we learned serving this community for the last 13 years, we know that whenever small business owners collaborate, it will be successful. Winnebago County business owners have a grit that cannot be contained or put to rest. What will come in the future will be new and exciting.”