Livonia, MI (December 1, 2008) – Buy Michigan Now, a campaign designed to promote and restore Michigan’s economy, today released its 2008 Holiday Gift Guide. The movement is encouraging residents to buy gifts that will help support their local economy this season. The Holiday Gift Guide is downloadable from the homepage at www.BuyMichiganNow.com.
The Holiday Gift Guide features unique gift ideas from a wide variety of companies around the state. There are suggestions for music lovers, sports aficionados, foodies, children, and more. The guide is divided into nineteen different gift categories and also includes a section to help consumers distinguish local retailers from national competitors. According to campaign founder, Lisa Diggs, “We make specific gift suggestions, but also hope that calling attention to these great Michigan companies will help people identify other Michigan-made ideas of their own.”
The Holiday Gift Guide comes on the heels of the site’s recently released Michigan Grocery Guide, which focuses on foods and beverages produced in Michigan. Both tools are designed for consumers eager to keep more of their dollars inside the state during this critical shopping season.
Buy Michigan Now strongly encourages shoppers to Think Michigan First throughout the holidays. “There are varying degrees of how we can help, but we can always help”, said Diggs. “To me, the best case scenario is a gift or food product made of Michigan ingredients, by a Michigan company, and purchased from a Michigan-based retail store. That’s ideal, but not always possible, so if a desired product isn’t made here or sold by a local retailer, at least by buying it from a physical retail location we can help keep our neighbors employed.”
Both guides are complements to the site’s most popular feature, the Michigan Blue Pages, an online directory of Michigan-based businesses. Businesses wishing to be included in that directory are asked to visit www.BuyMichiganNow.com and create a listing in the Michigan Blue Pages. One Basic listing is available for FREE to every Michigan-based business. Companies wanting to add a weblink, maximize their marketing impact, and help support the message of the campaign, may opt for a Standard, Enhanced, or Premiere listing package ranging from $100-300 per year.
All businesses must meet one of the following three Michigan Identification Criteria (MICs) in order to be listed:
- Operates entirely in Michigan
- Headquartered in Michigan with additional operations outside the state
- Michigan-owned franchise or affiliate – some fees or revenue paid outside the state.
Other Buy Michigan Now Features
The website also includes Mich to Mich Opportunities where businesses can list their desire to find a qualified Michigan-based vendor, subcontractor, or partner to meet their needs. That is coupled with Mich to Mich Connections, which allows them to celebrate the new local alliances formed. The Fundraising Opportunities tool is designed to give Michigan businesses a forum to introduce community groups to available fundraising programs. Nonprofit Needs gives charitable organizations the opportunity to identify specific equipment & services they need so that individuals and/or businesses can help fulfill those needs. The site is also a source of good news happening throughout the state and even features Celebrity Shout Outs from famous folks with Michigan roots.
Buy Michigan Now is a grassroots effort that was initiated 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.