Ignore all the promises and plans put forth by political office seekers in this never-ending election season.

Here’s something you can do to make a positive difference in the lives of everyone around you while making your community and state stronger.

This “something” doesn’t require a new government program. It doesn’t rely on additional federal or state spending. It doesn’t need any paperwork, permits or licenses.

It only requires you to think for a moment before you make your next retail purchase.

You can buy nearby from a store or even a website located in Michigan.

When you buy nearby, about half of all the dollars you spend remain in your community and state, where they recirculate many times over. They support local businesses that provide jobs, pay taxes and support community projects. They pay wages for Michigan workers, who use the money to pay for goods and services from businesses in Michigan. They help pay for vital services such as roads, schools and police and fire protection. They make life better for everyone here.

Michigan economists say our residents send more than nine billion of their shopping dollars out of the state and into the pockets of companies outside Michigan every year. If those dollars were spent in Michigan, at retail businesses that invest in Michigan and employ Michigan workers, they would create 75,000 new jobs throughout the state, and not just in retail.

And that’s why the Michigan Retailers Association came up with “I Buy Nearby Weekend” on October 1 and 2 this year to give Michiganians the opportunity to explore all the great shopping in our communities and make a personal commitment to supporting businesses that support Michigan’s economy in a big way.

James Hallan, president and CEO

Michigan Retailers Association

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