By David Todd Special to OnMilwaukee Published Feb 26, 2009 at 2:50 PM

No one needs to be reminded we are all feeling the affects of a bad economy. Businesses closing. People losing jobs. Our landscape is changing. It can be frightening and overwhelming.

But, what everyone does need is to be reminded to support local, neighborhood businesses in times like these. Recently, Milwaukee has lost institutions the likes of Schwartz Bookshops, QLife News, Milwaukee Shakespeare, The Social ... and the list goes on. Still more are at risk.

Here is where we can all do something. This is how we fight feeling helpless and overwhelmed. Today, make a conscious effort to shop at the stores, restaurants, coffee shops, theaters that you want to be a part of your community.

  • Have a cup of coffee and pick up a novel at Outwards Books.
  • This year is the perfect year to become a member of the PrideFest Proud Crowd.
  • Watch for the annual LGBT film festival at UWM.
  • Check out a performance at the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center.
  • Volunteer at (or write a check to) the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.
  • And, we all have a favorite watering hole. They need a little extra in the tip jar.

Take the time to think about not just how much you are spending, but where you are spending it. Money is more valuable today than ever. Put it somewhere it can do the most good.

David Todd Special to OnMilwaukee
David Todd is the managing director of Milwaukee Chamber Theatre. Todd, who also has worked television in Milwaukee and Los Angeles, returned to Milwaukee in 2007 from L.A. where he served as director of marketing and corporate giving for the Orange County affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. A theatre buff, Todd is an alumnus of Pius XI High School and its theatre program where he performed both on stage and behind-the-scenes. David received a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1991. He says these days, however, he prefers a seat in the Dress Circle or to be watching his favorite musical “Funny Girl.” Todd can be reached at