Supporting Local Bolsters Michigan's Small Businesses and Communities | Michigan Business – Michigan Economic Development Corporation

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Stefanie Pohl
Wednesday, November 23, 2022
Whether it’s the holiday shopping season or another beautiful Pure Michigan summer, supporting local is always in style.
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Every year, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) launches the Support Local campaign to remind Michiganders of the importance of supporting small businesses.
In 2022, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared November 26 Small Business Saturday, urging Michiganders to support Michigan’s small businesses through buying locally this holiday season and throughout the year.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” said Governor Whitmer. “Supporting local small businesses and entrepreneurs creates good-paying jobs and supports more vibrant communities in every region of our state.”
Keep reading to learn about the ways you can Support Local and why each purchase is a gift to business owners, local communities and Michigan’s economy.
Ways to Support Local
Now more than ever, small businesses across Pure Michigan need our support.
The Support Local landing page provides a wealth of information and resources to help residents shop and eat local all year long. Learn about vibrant downtowns that are filled with local shops specializing in décor, fashion, pet toys, hardware and more, and check out the Events Calendar, which features happenings for every season across Michigan.
For the craft beverage lover, Michigan’s beer, wine and spirits can be found throughout the state at brick-and-mortar shops and local grocery stores. Around Michigan, independent bookstores overflow with page-turning stories and gifts. To refuel, shoppers can visit one of Michigan’s coffee shops and get a bag of beans to brew at home. Or give the gift of travel, creating memories at destinations throughout the state.
To celebrate the season and supporting local, Tom Daldin of Under the Radar Michigan joined Dave Lorenz of Travel Michigan and Cathleen Edgerly of Downtown Lansing, Inc. for a live conversation on Nov. 22. The discussion focused on holiday traditions and celebrations across Michigan and offered suggestions for how to support local businesses when shopping, dining and traveling across Michigan communities this holiday season and beyond – including the gift of experiences.
“The gift of Pure Michigan travel is a great option,” said Lorenz. “Perhaps you know that they’ve been talking about trying downhill skiing, or trying snowmobiling, or a sled dog experience. There are so many cool things you can do in Michigan at this time of the year, or year-round. Look around, call a resort, or talk to an outfitter and ask about a gift certificate or booking an experience. I think it’s a much more personalized gift opportunity.”
Still looking for gift ideas? The Ultimate Michigan Gifts Guide provides several Michigan-themed gift options from pillows to Petoskey stone coasters; Selective Potential blogger Tieka shares her favorite Michigan businesses in her Shop Local Gift Ideas guide; and The Mitten State has plenty of items to help share that Pure Michigan pride.
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The Economic Impact
According to the Michigan Retailers Association, one in five Michigan jobs are in the retail industry. In 2021, Michigan residents sent $30.3 billion to out-of-state retailers. If only one in 10 out-of-state purchases – equivalent to about $3 billion – were switched to local stores, Michigan would gain $2.2 billion in increased economic activity, creating 16,000 new jobs.
“Making the choice to Buy Nearby strengthens communities, keeps money in Michigan and gives small businesses the chance to thrive,” said Michigan Retailers Association President and CEO William J. Hallan. “When you are looking for that perfect gift for your loved one this year, head to Main Street to help grow our local economy and support your local businesses.”
Michigan is home to 902,000 small businesses, with 1.9 million small business employees, representing 48.3 percent of Michigan workers. More than 99 percent of Michigan businesses are defined as small businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
Every dollar spent locally supports our Michigan friends and neighbors, keeps our communities vibrant and helps our state thrive.
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Small Business Support
MEDC is committed to supporting the success of the small businesses that make up the backbone of the state’s economy. Earlier this year, MEDC announced a new Small Business Services and Business Solutions team as part of a heightened focus on supporting small businesses in Michigan. This team was created to play a vital role in helping existing small and microbusinesses grow in the state, while improving economic prosperity for all Michiganders through greater opportunities for small business ownership and access to capital.
“Every day is a day to celebrate and patronize Michigan’s homegrown businesses. No business is small to those who are putting it all on the line, and so we remain focused on creating pathways and opportunities for our entrepreneurs to realize their vision,” MEDC CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr. said.
By supporting local throughout the holiday season and beyond, Michigan’s communities and small businesses will continue to thrive while helping Michiganders make memories for years to come.
Learn how you can Support Local at michigan.org/support-local.
 

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