Supporting Local Bolsters Michigan’s Small Businesses and Communities

Stefanie Pohl

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Whether it’s the holiday shopping season or another beautiful Pure Michigan summer, supporting local is always in style.


Every year, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) launches the Support Local campaign to remind Michiganders of the importance of supporting small businesses.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared November 25 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.


The Economic Impact

One in five Michigan jobs are in the retail industry. According to the Michigan Retailers Association’s Michigan Retail Index Survey, Michigan residents can make a significant impact on the livelihood of business owners and the state’s economy by shopping local.

“We encourage shoppers to consider the importance of shopping with local businesses – keeping their dollars in their community will make all the difference,” said Michigan Retailers Association President and CEO William J. Hallan. “The increasing need to shop local is apparent. Our Michigan retailers could use some support heading into the holidays. It’s important to note that if Michiganders redirected 10% of their estimated $33.8 billion in out-of-state ecommerce, Michigan would gain $2.4 billion in gross economic input.”

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.


Small Business Support

MEDC is committed to supporting the success of the small businesses that make up the backbone of the state’s economy. MEDC’s Small Business Services and Business Solutions helps small businesses in Michigan by playing a vital role in supporting growth 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


Contact Us

To contact a business development specialist, click here or call 1.888.522.0103.