Governor Gretchen Whitmer today declared November 26 as Small Business Saturday in Michigan and urges Michiganders to buy 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 good-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 local—and let’s keep doing so throughout the holiday season and all year long. I will continue working with anyone to ensure that our small businesses have the resources they need to succeed as we continue growing Michigan’s economy and building 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 workers. More than 99 percent of Michigan businesses are defined as small businesses with fewer than 500 employees.
A report released in May showed that in the first three quarters of 2021 alone, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees created almost 170,000 jobs, 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 beginning new ventures in 2021, with 150,000 new small business applications filed to start businesses, which is 59 percent more than in 2019.
Since October 2020, MEDC has assisted small businesses in all 83 counties with more than $73.7 million in funding, helping more than 560 new businesses start up and helping small businesses generate more than $4.3 billion in new revenue.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses comprise more than 98 percent of Michigan businesses and employ half of Michigan workers. For every $100 spent at a local business, roughly $68 stays in the local economy, allowing business and job growth.
In addition, according to the Michigan Retailers Association, one in five Michigan jobs are in the retail industry. In 2021, Michigan residents sent $30.3 billion to out-of-state retailers. If only one in 10 out-of-state purchases, equivalent to about $3 billion, were switched to local stores, Michigan would gain $2.2 billion in increased economic activity, creating 16,000 new jobs.
“Making the choice to Buy Nearby strengthens communities, keeps money in Michigan and gives small businesses the chance to thrive,” said Michigan Retailers Association President and CEO William J. Hallan. “When you are looking for that perfect gift for your loved one this year, head to Main Street to help grow our local economy and support your local businesses.”
Every year, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation launches the Support Local campaign to remind Michiganders of the importance of supporting small businesses during the holidays and throughout the winter season, in particular. The Support Local landing page at michigan.org/supportlocal offers resources that help residents shop and eat local, including links to vibrant downtowns that are filled with local shops specializing in décor, fashion, pet toys, hardware and more. 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.
“As we look at ways to create greater opportunity for all Michiganders, we remain committed to supporting our small businesses, their workers, and the local communities in all corners of the state,” said MEDC CEO Quentin L. Messer, Jr. “The Saturday after Thanksgiving is traditionally one of the busiest days of the holiday season, and by shopping local, 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 make up the backbone of the state’s economy. Earlier this year, MEDC announced a new Small Business Services and Business Solutions team as part of a heightened focus on supporting small businesses in Michigan. This team was created to play a vital role in helping existing small and microbusinesses 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 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,” Messer said. “With our new small business team, we will continue setting the stage for Michigan’s economic growth for generations to come.”