Isthmus Asks Consumers to Shop Local This Holiday Season

November 20, 2008

Contact Information:
Rachel Tatge
Marketing Coordinator
Isthmus Publishing Co., Inc.
rtatge (at)
Phone: 608-251-5627
Fax: 608-251-2165

Madison, WI — Isthmus, Madison’s local weekly newspaper, is urging readers to spend at least $100 of their holiday money this fall at locally owned stores in Dane County — a move that could pump more than $15.9 million into the urban economy during this recession-plagued season.

The project is based on data showing that money spent in locally owned businesses tends to stay in the area and circulate through the community, increasing economic activity. Economists call this the multiplier effect.

To pledge online, visit Isthmus‘ Web site at You will automatically be entered to win gift certificates from Willy St. Co-op, Dimaggio’s Euro Design and the Downtown Madison Business Improvement District (BID). You can find a list of locally owned businesses at and

“Madison has always been supportive of locally owned businesses. This is just one more way to show our loyalty to these businesses, even in challenging economic times,” said Colin Murray, Isthmus Advertising Manager and Dane Buy Local Board Member.

Isthmus joins the national Alternative Association of Newsweeklies (AAN) around the country that are participating in a similar effort.

“If every one of the 17.5 million readers of these weeklies were to spend just $100 with local, independently owned merchants, the impact would be enormous,” said Jody Colley, publisher of the East Bay Express in Berkeley/Oakland and the originator of the project.

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) and the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) helped develop the unprecedented project. 73 papers in the United States and Canada are participating. Visit for more information.

“This is an incredibly exciting and unprecedented effort by the press to reach out and work with the local economic development community,” said Erin Kilmer-Neel, program officer at OneCalifornia Foundation, and active member in both BALLE and AMIBA. “In my mind, this can be a perfect partnership — local, independently-owned publications helping other local indie businesses in their community toward positive economic change.”

Added Kilmer-Neel: “When people choose to shop at locally-owned, independent businesses in their communities, they are re-circulating dollars in those communities, supporting more local jobs, keeping their neighborhoods interesting and unique and reducing their carbon footprints.”

The project will run through the holiday season.

Isthmus publishes its weekly newspaper and is online at The number of regular readers continues to grow and now includes over 160,000 local adults who are educated, opinionated and active in their community.