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Whitmer proclaims today as Small Business Saturday

LANSING — Small Business Saturday is being celebrated today in Marquette County, with local organizations such as the Marquette Downtown Development Authority and the Greater Ishpeming-Negaunee Chamber of Commerce encouraging area residents to shop local small businesses.

Small Business Saturday is also being celebrated on a statewide level, as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared today as Small Business Saturday in Michigan and urges state residents to buy locally today and throughout the year to support Michigan’s small businesses.

“Small businesses are the backbones of our communities, and we want to remind Michiganders that supporting local businesses and entrepreneurs creates jobs, leads to more vibrant communities and builds a stronger economy for everyone,” Whitmer said in a news release. “Our small businesses demonstrated incredible resiliency throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we should celebrate them and their invaluable contributions to our state by shopping local this holiday season. I will continue working to ensure that small businesses have the resources they need to succeed as we usher in a new era of prosperity together.”

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses comprise more than 98% of Michigan businesses and employ half of Michigan workers. For every $100 spent at a local business, roughly $68 stays in the local economy, allowing business and job growth. In addition, according to the Michigan Retailers Association, one in five Michigan jobs are in the retail industry. In 2020, Michigan residents sent $23.7 billion to out-of-state retailers. If only one in 10 out-of-state purchases were switched to local stores, Michigan would gain $1.9 billion in increased economic activity, creating 14,000 new jobs, officials said.

“While every day is a good day to shop small and buy nearby, we hope Michiganders will make a concentrated effort this Saturday and throughout the holiday season to shop at local retailers and businesses,” William J. Hallan, president and CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association, said in the release. “Not only will you find gifts on store shelves and avoid possible shipping delays by buying nearby, but you’ll be supporting the local businesses who make our communities great places to live and work. With so many challenges facing business owners this year and last, they need the community’s support more than ever.”

In 2020, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation launched the Support Local campaign to remind residents about the importance of supporting local businesses during the holidays and throughout the winter season. The Support Local web page at michigan.org/supportlocal offers resources that help residents shop and eat local, including links to downtowns that are filled with local shops specializing in decor, fashion, pet toys, hardware and more.

“As we look at ways to grow an equitable and resilient economy in Michigan, we remain committed to supporting our small businesses, their workers and the local communities in all corners of the state,” said MEDC CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr., in the release. “The Saturday after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest days of the holiday season, and by shopping local, we can help Michigan workers, businesses and communities thrive this season and beyond.”

Officials offered several examples of small businesses to find gifts at during the holiday season.

≤ For the craft beverage lover, the state’s beer, wine and spirits can be found throughout the state at brick-and-mortar shops and local grocery stores.

≤ Independent bookstores thoughout the state “overflow with page-turning stories and gifts,” officials said in the release.

≤ 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.

Overall, state officials encourage residents to support small businesses by shopping local today and throughout the year.

“Small businesses play a vital role in their local communities and have been through unprecedented challenges during this pandemic,” said Brian Calley, president of the Small Business Association of Michigan, in the release. “Small Business Saturday is the perfect opportunity to celebrate them and show our support during the busy holiday season.”

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