Dane Buy Local, Dane County, City of Verona: Kick-off Independents Week, celebrate local businesses & recovery efforts

[Madison, WI]—In conjunction with the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA),

Dane Buy Local and member businesses encourage the public to buy local and declare June 25 to July 4, 2021, Independents Week. Dane Buy Local held an Independence Week kick-off event today at the new JNJ Gifts and More location in Verona. Speakers included Dane Buy Local Executive Director Colin Murray, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Verona Mayor Luke Diaz, and JNJ Gifts and More owner Jerina Vincent.

“Our local businesses make Dane County distinctive, different from anywhere else in the country,” states Dane Buy Local Executive Director Colin Murray. “Independents Week is an opportunity to celebrate the hardworking local entrepreneurs in Madison, Dane County, and all of South Central Wisconsin.”

“Dane Buy Local joins other independent business alliances on behalf of Dane County’s thousands of businesses. We celebrate them—large and small—because they exemplify the depth, diversity, and economic impact that local businesses have in South Central Wisconsin.”

After an extremely difficult 15 months, “now’s the perfect time for fun as we show our friends and neighbors how important they and their businesses are to us,” said Dane Buy Local Board President Amy Johnson. “I hope the turnout numbers show this to be the most successful Independents Week so far, emphasizing how glad we are that they’re here and we can be with them again.”

To date, Dane County has invested more than $29 million in its Small Business Pandemic Support Grant Program to help sustain Dane County small businesses throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was first launched in April 2020 with Dane Buy Local, prior to passage of the first federal government COVID-19 rescue plan known as the CARES Act. At the time of its creation, it was one of the very first local government-run, small business grant rescue programs in the entire country.

Round 3 of the grants totals $15 million, coming from Dane County’s portion of American Rescue Plan funding. So far, over 3,000 applications have been received, and $59,447,075 in support has been requested. 612 grants have been approved to date, totaling over $4.9 million dollars, with the average grant totaling $8,087. Over 26 percent of all grants have gone to underserved community members in Dane County.

“Dane Buy Local has been an incredible partner to our small business community during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we thank them for their continued partnership in distributing Dane County’s Small Business Pandemic Support grants,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “As we gear up for July 4, let’s consider the ways in which we can continue to show support for our small businesses and local entrepreneurs. Celebrating Independents Week is yet another way we can do our part to help our local economy recover from the financial impacts of the past year.”

Dane Buy Local is affiliated with AMIBA and part of a national movement to rally support on behalf of independent businesses, and to ensure opportunities endure to own and operate independent businesses. Dane Buy Local is a nonprofit local business organization working to create a sustainable, vital local economy through education, collaboration, and promotion.