You do not need to be a retailer to belong to MRA. Although MRA provides services to thousands of retailers, we also serve many other companies that need services such as credit card processing, health and dental plans, and business insurances. All companies and organizations, including non-profits, can become members.
Call Accounting and Membership Assistant Francine Bushrey at 800.366.3699 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members receive a door/window sticker identifying them as MRA members to the public.
MRA offers one of the best scholarships programs in Michigan and the nation. The families of members and the families of members’ employees are eligible annually for one-year scholarships of $1,500 (four-year colleges and universities) or $1,000 (two-year colleges and approved training schools and institutes). Scholarships are funded by Michigan Retailers Foundation. The annual competition runs from January 1 to April 1. Since 1999, the program has provided $544,500 in funding for 551 scholarships. The Foundation also enables contributors to establish a legacy scholarship in their name or the name of their business or another person.
Michigan Retailer, the official, bimonthly news publication of MRA, often writes feature stories about leading members. Members also receive special discounts for advertising their products and services in Michigan Retailer. MRA’s social media activities, along with the Buy Nearby campaign’s own blog and social media channels, also highlight interesting members. In addition, retailers who reach 100 years in business are presented with a Michigan Centennial Retailer plaque from MRA.
Members receive access to a wide variety of value-added business services to help them succeed:
- Expert, no-hassle credit card processing
- Group and individual insurance programs, including workers’ compensation insurance through Retailers Insurance Company, health insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield and dental insurance administered by Delta Dental
- Effective legislative advocacy on issues impacting business
- Buy Nearby promotions to increase customer traffic and sales
- Discounts on inbound and outbound shipping
- College scholarships
- News and information on industry practices and trends
- …and much more
Members also receive personal customer service and assistance from experienced employees at MRA, not from a call-center or website operating on the other side of the world.
In addition to Michigan Retailer, MRA provides ebulletins on credit card processing, legislative issues and Buy Nearby. We also conduct a monthly survey, in cooperation with the Federal Reserve, to gauge retail sales in Michigan and communicate those results through the Michigan Retail Index. MRA’s regional business development representatives and customer service representatives are a great source of information on a wide variety of business topics.
MRA PAC is one of the oldest political action committees in Michigan. It accepts contributions from members in order to help elect retail- and business-friendly candidates.
MRA has a daily presence in the state Capitol to keep our finger on the political pulse. We monitor all legislation and issues affecting retail and business, and we advocate aggressively to promote pro-business issues. MRA writes and distributes the Government Affairs News ebulletin on a regular basis to MRA members when the legislature is in session.
Congratulations! Starting a retail business is an exciting adventure and MRA is here to help. We get this question all the time, which is why we created a separate page to walk you through all the steps to take to start a retail business in Michigan.
There are a few things you need to start a retail business but what often confuses people is when a wholesaler or marketplace asks for a “reseller license” or “resale certificate/permit.” In Michigan, that’s just a sales tax license. Lots of wholesalers or marketplace websites call it various things but what they’re looking for is proof that your business is licensed to collect any applicable sales/use taxes in Michigan. That gets the wholesaler off the hook from charging you sales tax when you purchase from them. Wholesalers are required to collect and maintain up-to-date information to prove they’re not liable for the tax themselves.
Other things you’ll need include an EIN from the IRS, annual registration/renewal with the state’s Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Department and of course the sales tax license from the Michigan Department of Treasury. To walk through each step with links to where to obtain these licenses and registrations check out MRA’s Ask Us First page.
If you’re starting a new business, you should also seriously consider MRA membership to help you stay up-to-date on retail trends in Michigan, changing rules and regulations on retail sales and other suggestions on marketing and safety to keep your business thriving. MRA provides services to members including credit card processing, which you’ll likely need right away, and group health insurance or workers’ compensation insurance that you’ll need to consider as your business grows and you start hiring staff.