Skip to content
Apply for a $7,500 grant for your local downtown
Send us your best idea to help shoppers Buy Nearby in your downtown.

Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) through its on-going public service awareness campaign, Buy Nearby, has created a new grant program to help you in promoting the Buy Nearby message in your local community. We will award $7,500 (one per quarter) to four (4) Michigan communities. It’s all part of the Buy Nearby campaign that encourages shoppers to keep their money in the Mitten. The intent of this program is to help you inform your communities that if Michiganders redirected 10% of their estimated $23.7B in out-of-state spending, Michigan would gain $1.9B in increased economic activity, create more local jobs, and healthier communities.

What We’re Looking For
We’re looking for out-of-the-box marketing strategies that drive business back to your retailers.

Send Us A Customized Marketing Campaign

For the first time ever, MRA wants to involve you in our state-wide PSA campaign to promote Buy Nearby and has partnered with Nexstar Media to help you develop and execute a custom marketing campaign to expose your retailers to the masses. Your submission will allow your organization to be considered for a co-branded customized marketing strategy. All we ask is that within the messaging that there is dedicated space for our brief branding messaging (i.e. Buy Nearby) at the beginning and end of the television or video messaging. To further enhance your strategy, Nexstar Media has developed a very cost-effective method for individual business to participate.

All proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m. on April 1, 2022 to be considered.

This funding is made available with the intent of outbound marketing and can only be used with Nexstar Media/ Lansing. You also agree that if your organization is awarded a grant, Michigan Retailers Association and Nexstar Media/Lansing will be given a 1-year membership to your organization at no charge, along with the ability to participate in/with your business community functions.

Downtown Charlevoix

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I upload any support documents with my RFP?
Yes, the system allows you to upload attachments (i.e. Microsoft Word or Adobe PDFs) with your application, making the submission process easier.

When will winners be notified?
Winners will be notified via email and a phone call on April 15, 2022. MRA will announce winners after April 15, 2022.

Who do I notify if I have any questions?
Please direct all questions to Andrea Bitely via email at

If my downtown is selected as a winner, can I use the money toward a 2023 initiative?
Grant awards MUST BE used in 2022 for downtown promotions.

What is the application deadline?
All submissions must be received by 5 p.m. on April 1, 2022. Applications will only be accepted through the online form submission process. Forms submitted to Michigan Retailers Association via U.S. mail, email or fax will not be considered.

Back To Top