Buy Local Buy Wisconsin Grants Eliminated!
Call your legislators to restore this important program!In his 2011-2012 budget, Gov. Walker eliminated the Buy Local Buy Wisconsin grants program. This program supports projects that connect Wisconsin farmers with lucrative markets, while increasing consumer access to local agricultural products. Though a tiny amount of funding compared to the entire state budget, these grants have a huge impact: 38 new jobs and over $2.7 million in increased sales just in the first two years of the program! While spending only $447,700, that’s over a 5:1 return on investment in just two years! While most other government programs are getting a 10% cut, it’s appropriate for this grants program to take its share of reductions, too. A 10% reduction would bring it down to $200,000 per year in funding. But it is not prudent to eliminate a grants program that has a proven track record of economic development! Will you take a moment to call your State Senator and Representative to urge them to support Buy Local Buy Wisconsin grant funding at $200,000 per year? It’s easy to find out who your State Senator and Representative are, and get their contact information, by going here. When you call, here are some talking points you may want to use:
- In these economic times, it is a wise use of state dollars to continue programs that have a proven track record of creating economic development
- Local markets for Wisconsin food help the bottom line of our farmers while also creating new jobs
- For every increase of $50,000 in local food sales, a new job is created
- These grants not only help businesses get off the ground, but these businesses source locally, keeping money supporting businesses in Wisconsin
- These grants don’t target one type of farm, but farms of all types and sizes
- This grant program was also designed to promote agritourism in Wisconsin, but its limited funding has prevented all but a couple of projects from moving forward