One lucky shopper will win $500 gift card for buying nearby, posting social media photos

Michigan Retailers Association’s Annual  Buy Nearby Weekend is Oct. 7-8


Retail businesses across the state will celebrate Buy Nearby Weekend Oct. 7-8, offering special merchandise or sales and the chance for one lucky shopper to win $500 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 support their local communities and state economy by buying from retailers in Michigan.

Many stores will offer special promotions as a thank you to supportive customers. And shoppers may bump into the Buy Nearby Guy mascot, an 8-foot-tall representation of a shopping bag in the shape of Michigan.

Buy Nearby Guy and MRA officials will promote Buy Nearby Weekend on Oct. 7 in Ann Arbor, Dexter, Royal Oak and Birmingham. On Oct. 8, they will visit ArtPrize in Grand Rapids and Old Town Lansing. Shoppers are welcome to get their photo taken with Buy Nearby Guy.

As an extra incentive to buy nearby, one shopper will receive a $500 gift card. For a chance to win, shoppers must visit their community retailers on Oct. 7 or 8 and share shopping selfies or photos of their purchases with the hashtag #buynearbymi on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The winner will be chosen in a random drawing.

Independent research found that the state economy would grow by more than $9 billion and nearly 75,000 new jobs would be created if residents bought from retailers in Michigan, rather than from out-of-state online sellers. More than 866,000 Michigan jobs are directly dependent on retail sales, and many of those workers are shoppers’ friends and neighbors.

One in four jobs in Michigan depends on the retail industry,” said James P. Hallan, MRA president and CEO. “On average, 50 cents of every dollar spent in a retail business in Michigan stays in the community and helps grow the Michigan economy. Those are powerful reasons to help strengthen our community by keeping our shopping dollars in the Mitten.”

Michigan Department of Treasury figures show that retail trade accounted for more than $90 billion in economic activity in Michigan, not counting food and prescription drug purchases.

Additional information about the Buy Nearby campaign is available at and You also can follow the campaign on Twitter @buynearbymi and on Instagram @mibuynearby.

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