Livonia, MI (November 26, 2010) – The holiday shopping season is now in full swing and Buy Michigan Now, a campaign designed to promote and restore Michigan’s economy, is urging residents to think carefully about how and where they do their holiday shopping. “Billions of dollars will be spent this holiday season, and the more money we can keep in Michigan, the faster our economy will rebound,” said campaign founder, Lisa Diggs.
The initiative is celebrating its three-year anniversary with the release of a 2010 Holiday Gift Guide that encourages residents to buy gifts and food that will help support the local economy, which is downloadable from the homepage at www.BuyMichiganNow.com
It features nearly one hundred unique gift ideas from a wide variety of companies around the state of Michigan. Links to each company’s website are also provided so that users can learn more about entire product lines, nearby retailers, and the companies themselves.
According Diggs, “We make specific item suggestions in the guide, but also hope that just calling attention to the impact buying locally can make on our economy will inspire people to find discoveries of their own.”
A 2008 study conducted for Think Local First in Grand Rapids, Michigan, by Civic Economics, reported that $73 out of every $100 spent locally stayed within the community, as opposed to $43 of every $100 spent in a business that was not locally owned. The study also found that if consumers spent just 10 percent more in locally owned businesses, the economic impact could reach $140 million and result in up to 1600 new jobs in the Grand Rapids market alone (http://www.localfirst.com/why_local_first).
The Holiday Gift Guide is a complement to the site’s popular Grocery Guide, which focuses on foods and beverages produced in Michigan and their searchable Michigan Blue Pages directory, which includes more than 2500 Michigan-based businesses. Both tools are designed for consumers eager to keep more of their dollars inside the state.
The campaign makes suggests these 5 tips to help rejuvenate Michigan while shopping this season:
- Download the 2010 Holiday Gift Guide: You can find new ideas and discover companies you may not have known about, and even keep it local while shopping online
- Take the ShopMIDowntown Challenge: Do 75% of your purchasing in downtowns, rather than malls, as you are more likely to find local products and independently owned stores.
- Buy Michigan Foods/Beverages as Gifts: They are easy to find, come in wide varieties, and are a very practical gift during these difficult times.
- Go to Brick and Mortar Stores: Shopping in actual stores helps preserve the job of one of your Michigan neighbors.
- Shop Michigan Online: If convenience merits shopping online, consider Michigan-based stores like Meijer, Borders, ABC Warehouse, Dunham’s Sports, and Moosejaw.
Buy Michigan Now is a grassroots effort that was initiated the day before Thanksgiving in November of 2007 to help educate people of all ages about the benefits of buying locally and to stimulate positive thinking and actions in support of Michigan.
Buy Michigan Now also includes a Pledge to support Michigan-based organizations. Visitors to the site are encouraged to read the Pledge, and if they agree, add their name, city, and state, as a growing demonstration of support for Michigan businesses.
Lisa Diggs is also founder of The Catalyst Company, a Livonia-based performance consulting agency; an alumnus of Michigan State University and University of Michigan-Dearborn. She is an accomplished speaker, writer, and nearly lifelong resident of the state, who works hard to promote, protect, and develop Michigan for future generations.