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“Get On Living Safely” empowers residents to help save local businesses in the pandemic



The Northside Business Association is asking residents to choose community over convenience when shopping this holiday season through a new “Get On Living Safely” campaign.

The countywide effort puts forth actions everyday people can take to help battle the current health and economic crisis.

“We’re here to help restore hope, jobs, families, and dreams because the economic realities of this are so crushing to us here in the greater La Crosse area when we look at what is going on, we knew that action was needed. Our local community is empowered to make a really big difference,” Nick Roush said.

Roush said sales tax data for La Crosse Cows a $54 million revenue loss from March to June alone, and projections show that could reach $190 million dollars.

“To put that into perspective, that’s like double the operating budget of the entire City of La Crosse,” he said. “That really makes a difference in our quality of life, the restaurants, bars, personal services places like gyms, studios, and salons. It impacts the hospitality and entertainment industries, the stuff that really makes up the fabric of our community and employs a lot of middle and low-income folks in the county.”

Roush added consumers are still spending money, but most of those sales are going online and out of town.

“As local spending curbed off, online spending ramped up,” he said. “The capacity is still there to help our businesses because the money is still being spent. I think it is a fairly safe statement to say that Amazon is not showing up with a truck of money to help La Crosse, Wis., so we can help ourselves by making some conscious choices.”

He recommended people show as locally as possible and post their local purchases and selfies using #golsWI.

“Share your awesome experiences that inspire your friends, family, and the people you connect with on social media to do the same,” Roush said. “There are so many amazing local businesses in our community. They’ve done an awesome job of adapting to conditions and doing all the things that they need to do to keep employees and customers safe.”

People are encouraged to like the Get On Living Safely Facebook Page where the group will share information about the chance to win gift certificates that can be redeemed at any local business. The giveaway started at $100 this week and will double each week capping at $1,600 the week of Christmas.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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