First 'Buy Michigan Week' underway as southwest Michigan businesses slowly recover

NOW: First ’Buy Michigan Week’ underway as southwest Michigan businesses slowly recover

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- It’s Buy Michigan Week, a proclamation by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to encourage you do to all your shopping through a Michigan retailer from July 28 to Aug. 4.

“Now is the time for those seasonal businesses where they’ve got to make their profit,” said Al Pscholka, Vice President of Public Relations and Government Affairs at Kinexus Group.

Summer tourism in St. Joseph is back in full force and people are ready to put their money back into these small communities. 

“It’s been kind of crazy actually, we’ve seen a lot more activity downtown, we’ve seen 25-30% increases in sales year-to-date,” said Cindy Bogner, manager at Glik’s St. Joseph.

Small businesses are also seeing an increasing draw to downtown shopping. 

“The big-box stores [here] have closed and a lot of people have gravitated to downtown to do their shopping, we get a lot of local business now too, not just tourist business,” said Bogner.

While initiatives like Buy Michigan Week are a motivator for consumers – 

“It’s always a good idea to buy Michigan products,” said Pscholka.

A lack of eager customers isn’t the problem Kinexus Group is seeing persist as they track trends in our local economy. 

“There’s a lot of traffic across the board whether you’re in South Haven, St. Joseph, New Buffalo – however, not all businesses are open normal hours because of the labor shortage,” said Pscholka. “Some of our visitors are running into sort-of pressing their nose against the glass with their wallets open, trying to get in.”

Kinexus Group hosted a webinar for 80 local employers Thursday to give guidance on competitively attracting talent and retaining employees.

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