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Michigan Gov. Whitmer declares Saturday for small businesses on Nov. 26

In a move to urge Michigan residents to shop locally, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recognized Nov. 26 as Small Business Saturday in an announcement Wednesday.

Most Michigan businesses are considered small—less than 500 employees. They employ more than half of Michigan’s workers and “drive the growth of the local economy,” according to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on Twitter.

“On Small Business Saturday, let’s celebrate Michigan’s small businesses and their invaluable contributions to our communities by shopping locally — and doing so throughout the holiday season and year-round,” Whitmer wrote. “I will continue to work with everyone to ensure our small businesses have the resources they need to thrive.”

Whitmer also highlighted a few Michigan small businesses on Twitter.

“Family owned and operated, Stormy Kromer has been keeping heads (and hearts) warm in the Midwest for over 100 years,” Whitmer wrote in a Wednesday tweet. “Stormy Kromer is based in the UP with over 80% of its products made in Michigan and over 200 partners across the state. You can find Stormy Kromer anywhere.”

“In recent years we have seen record small business growth,” Whitmer wrote in a tweet on Tuesday. “Companies like Bridge Street Exchange that started as an idea. Now they are putting down deeper roots and plan to expand in 2023. Shop local on #SmallBusinessSaturday to ensure businesses like this continue to thrive.”

A report released in May 2022 showed that small businesses with fewer than 50 employees added nearly 170,000 jobs in the first three quarters of 2021, the fastest start of 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 filed to incorporate, up 59% from 2019, Whitmer’s office said in the announcement.

Small businesses make up more than 98% of Michigan businesses, according to the US Small Business Administration. And for every $100 spent in a local business, approximately $68 stays in the local economy.

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

“Choosing to shop nearby strengthens communities, keeps money in Michigan and gives small businesses a chance to thrive,” said William J. Hallan, president and CEO of the Michigan Retailers Association, in the announcement. “If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your loved one this year, head to Main Street to strengthen our local economy and support your local businesses.”

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