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Monroe supports new shop owners on Small Business Saturday

“Shop Small,” a message displayed on a Monroe storefront, may explain why the city’s historic downtown district bustled with shoppers Saturday.
Published: Nov. 27, 2021 at 5:47 PM CST
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MONROE, Wis. (WMTV) - “Shop Small,” a message displayed on a Monroe storefront, may explain why the city’s historic downtown district bustled with shoppers Saturday.

Inside the Sunrise Donut Café, out-of-town visitor Ryan Moter said, “I always try to shop local. I think it’s really important, especially after the pandemic.”

The store is Kevin Visel’s latest entrepreneurial venture. It opened mid-September and mid-pandemic.

“We felt like it’s the most counterintuitive time to start a business and buy a building and renovate it all,” Visel said. “But we just had such a great peace about it and the offering we were going to be able to bring to our community so we took that leap of faith.”

Around the block, Mama + Littles, a children and women’s boutique, also debuted this year. Co-owners Ally Langkamp and Jordan Lafferty said the opening was in part a response to losing a job during the pandemic.

“I wanted to be happy, and this was just one of those things that I enjoy doing so I decided to try it out,” Lafferty said.

On Small Business Saturday, business owners encouraged consumers to shop locally year-round.

“I think it’s important. I think it’s hard. It’s hard for me. I still find myself drawn to the convenience of the big-box store online,” Visel said. “But when you shop local, you get to know the people you’re buying from. You get to know the people you’re living from, and that’s the foundation of a community.”

The Sunrise Donut Café and Mama + Littles both received a $10,000 state grant as part of the Main Street Bounceback program. It runs until June and is made for businesses that move into vacant property in Wisconsin.

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