By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Dec 21, 2020 at 4:05 PM

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 has launched the “MKE It Local” campaign to spotlight shops, restaurants and bars Downtown and in neighborhoods nearby. It's also giving away $10,000 in gift cards to local businesses.

The bear-themed campaign suggests coming out of hibernation and supporting – safely! – area businesses in neihgborhoods like Brady Street, The Brewery District, Downer Avenue, East Town, Westown, the East Side, the Harbor District, the Historic Third Ward, King Drive/Bronzeville, Menomonee River Valley, the near West Side and Walker’s Point.

You can find lsitings of retailers and hospitality venues at MKEitlocal.com, along with details on curbside pickup, carryout, delivery, outdoor dining and more.

There are also videos that highlight each neighborhood.

Check out the WISN-12 Facebook page through Dec. 30 to find out how you can win one of 100 $100 gift cards,.

“We recognize that the pandemic has deeply affected the majority of our local businesses,” said Beth Weirick, CEO of Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District #21, in a statement. “This is what prompted myself and fellow BID leaders to seek out ways in which we could lend our support.

"Aside from catalyzing economic development initiatives, business improvement districts foster community. Now is the time for us to rally around the businesses that make our neighborhoods vibrant and distinct.”

For more information on MKE it Local, go to MKEitLocal.com.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.