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MRA’s Annual Buy Nearby Weekend is Oct. 1-3

Shop local, enter photo contest, get deals at participating retailers

Many businesses, including Michigan Retailers Association members, across the state will celebrate Buy Nearby Weekend on Oct. 1-3, offering special merchandise or sales and the chance for one lucky shopper to win a $500 gift card by posting a photo while shopping local with the #buynearbymi hashtag.

It’s all part of the Michigan Retailers Association’s (MRA) year-round Buy Nearby campaign that encourages shoppers to keep their money in Michigan!

Michigan Retailers Association members were supplied with free materials to promote the annual celebration. MRA also offered non-members access to a digital media kit, including social media images, videos and banner photos, a new perk for 2021.

Buy Nearby Guy, the 8-foot-tall mascot depicting a shopping bag in the shape of Michigan, visited more towns and events over the summer. In 2020, the mascot was unable to attend the few events held across the state as the pandemic wore on. He’s back and ready to share the importance of keeping shopping dollars local.

Michiganders typically send $23.7 billion to out-of-state retailers, according to a 2021 economic study by Public Sector Consultants. But if they changed just one in 10 of their purchases to a Michigan store, our economy would get a $1.9 billion boost and add nearly 14,000 jobs.

“Coming out of the pandemic, local businesses need our support,” said MRA President and CEO Bill Hallan. “Keeping your money in Michigan can make all the difference in your local downtown, especially as those same businesses hire your friends and family.”

As an extra incentive to buy nearby, one shopper will earn a $500 Visa gift card. How to enter: take a selfie shopping at a local store or a photo of your purchase during the weekend; post it to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #buynearbymi and you’re automatically entered. The winner will be chosen the following week in a random drawing. (Must be 18 or older to win; be sure your post is “public”). For a complete description of contest rules, visit our photo contest page.

With 122,000 stores, Michigan’s retail industry employs about 758,000 workers and pays nearly $23 billion in wages each year. Indirectly, retailers purchase goods and services, hire cleaning services, security staff, accountants and more. And their employees spend money as well, the 2021 Public Sector Consultants study noted.

Additional information is available at and You can also follow the campaign on Twitter @BuyNearbyMI and Instagram @mibuynearby.

The Michigan Retailers Association is the unified voice of Michigan’s retail industry, representing nearly 5,000 members and their 15,000 stores and websites. You can get more information at

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