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'Celebrate your independents,' says Chamber's speaker

Stacy Mitchell, the featured speaker at Friday's Good Morning Hudson program sponsored by the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce, encouraged the community to celebrate its independents.

Independent, locally owned businesses, that is.

Mitchell, a researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and author of the book "The Hometown Advantage," said studies show that locally owned businesses are better for the local economy than big-box, national chain retailers.

She said a recent study showed that $54 of every $100 that hometown businesses is returned to the local economy, compared to $14 of every $100 of superstore revenue.

The national chains have their own accountants, lawyers, architects and printers, and don't spend locally for those and other services, Mitchell said. Most don't support the local media, either, she said, but instead do their advertising on network television.

She said locally owned businesses usually treat their employees better, too.

Mitchell encouraged local businesses to organize to educate the community about the value of supporting them. She said they could learn more about what other communities are doing by going online to

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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