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CAMPAIGN URGES KEEPING SEASONAL SPENDING IN MICHIGAN

Date: November 17, 2011

(Livonia, MI) – It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving in 2007, when Buy Michigan Now founder, Lisa Diggs, officially launched the statewide campaign with its first food and gift guide for holiday shoppers. Now, nearly four years later, www.BuyMichiganNow.com posts a list of groceries year-round and has released its fifth holiday gift guide to urge consumers to think carefully about how and where they do their seasonal shopping. 

“Most people dramatically increase their spending in November and December,” said Diggs, “and the more money we can keep in Michigan right now, the faster our economy will rebound.”

The 2011 Holiday Gift Guide features more than one hundred unique gift ideas from a wide variety of businesses 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. The guide is downloadable from the homepage at www.BuyMichiganNow.com. 

According to Diggs, “We make specific item suggestions in the gift guide to unleash the possibilities and get people thinking. My hope is that consumers will use our ideas as a leaping off point, and realize just how many of their holiday dollars can be spent locally, with just a little bit of extra effort. We’re all in this together, and every dollar counts.” 

Just how much does each dollar count? A 2008 study conducted for 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.localfirstaz.com/studies/local-works/local-works-complete-study.pdf)

The Holiday Gift Guide is a complement to Buy Michigan Now’s popular Grocery Guide, which focuses on foods and beverages produced in Michigan and their searchable Michigan Blue Pages directory, which includes more than 3000 Michigan-based businesses. Both year-round tools are designed for consumers and organizations eager to keep more of their dollars inside the state.

The campaign suggests these five (5) tips to help rejuvenate Michigan’s economy while shopping this festive season:

  • Download the 2011 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. Start early though, as handcrafted choices and online orders can take extra time to be delivered.
  • Download the Grocery Guide: Available from the www.BuyMichiganNow.com homepage or as an iApp (Called “Grocery Guide”). Use this handy reference to increase the amount of Michigan products served to family and friends throughout the season.
  • Use Social Media to Share Information: Make use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Peoplemovers, and other social media sites to share these tools, the  benefits of buying locally, and links to independent stores and Michigan-made products you recommend.
  • Go to Brick and Mortar Stores: Shopping in actual stores helps preserve the jobs of your Michigan neighbors.
  • Shop Michigan Online: If convenience merits shopping online, buy from Michigan-based stores like Meijer, Art Van Furniture, ABC Warehouse, Dunham’s Sports, Moosejaw, and a host of independent local retailers.