November 26, Small Business Saturday in Michigan declared to support local businesses throughout the year

LANSING, Michigan (WLUC) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer today declared Small Business Saturday in Michigan, Nov. 26, urging Michiganders to shop locally this Saturday and throughout the year to support Michigan’s small businesses.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” said Governor Whitmer. “Supporting local small businesses and entrepreneurs creates high-paying jobs and supports more vibrant communities in every region of our state. On Small Business Saturday, let’s celebrate Michigan’s small businesses and their invaluable contributions to our communities by shopping locally – and let’s continue to do so through the holiday season and throughout the year. I will continue to work with everyone to ensure our small businesses have the resources they need to succeed as we continue to grow Michigan’s economy and build a brighter future together.”

Michigan is home to 902,000 small businesses, with 1.9 million small business employees representing 48.3 percent of Michigan’s workforce. More than 99 percent of Michigan businesses are defined as small businesses with less than 500 employees.

A report released in May found that small businesses with fewer than 50 employees created nearly 170,000 jobs in the first three quarters of 2021 alone, the fastest start to small business job growth in 23 years, according to the Michigan Bureau of Labor Market Information . The state also saw an explosion of entrepreneurs and business owners starting new ventures in 2021, with 150,000 new small business applications to start businesses, up 59 percent from 2019.

As of October 2020, MEDC has helped small businesses in all 83 counties with more than $73.7 million in funding, helped more than 560 new businesses start up, and helped small businesses generate more than $4.3 billion in new revenue.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses make up more than 98 percent of Michigan businesses and employ half of Michigan’s workers. For every $100 spent at a local business, about $68 remains in the local economy, allowing business and employment to grow.

In addition, according to the Michigan Retailers Association, one in five jobs in Michigan is in retail. In 2021, Michigan residents sent $30.3 billion to out-of-state retailers. If just one in 10 out-of-state purchases, equivalent to about $3 billion, were switched to local stores, Michigan would gain $2.2 billion in more economic activity and create 16,000 new jobs.

“Making the choice to buy locally strengthens communities, keeps money in Michigan and gives small businesses the chance to thrive,” said William J. Hallan, president and CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association. “If you’re looking for that perfect gift for your loved one this year, head to Main Street to grow our local economy and support your local businesses.”

Each year, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation launches the Support Local campaign to remind Michiganders of the importance of supporting small businesses during the holiday season and especially during the winter season. The Support Local landing page at offers resources that help residents shop and eat locally, including links to vibrant city centers filled with local stores specializing in decor, fashion, pet toys, hardware, and more. For the craft beverage enthusiast, Michigan’s beer, wine, and spirits can be found across the state in brick-and-mortar stores and local grocery stores. All around Michigan, independent bookstores are overflowing with page-turning stories and gifts. To refuel, shoppers can visit one of Michigan’s coffee shops and purchase a bag of beans to brew at home. Or gift a trip and create memories in destinations across the state.

“As we look at ways to create more opportunities for all Michiganders, we remain committed to supporting our small businesses, their employees and the local communities in every corner of the state,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC. The Saturday after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest days of the holiday season, and by shopping locally, we can help Michigan workers, businesses, and communities thrive this season and every day.

MEDC is committed to supporting the success of the small businesses that are the backbone of the state’s economy. Earlier this year, MEDC announced a new Small Business Services and Business Solutions team as part of an increased focus on supporting small businesses in Michigan. This team was created to play a critical role in helping existing small and micro businesses 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 for those who risk it all, which is why we remain focused on creating avenues and opportunities for our entrepreneurs to realize their vision,” said Messer. “With our new small business team, we will continue to pave the way for Michigan’s economic growth for generations to come.”

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