One of the main reasons to belong to a trade association is to connect with other members. Through the events MRA hosts, we connect members not only to each other but also with policymakers and potential business partners/vendors. There are often sponsorship opportunities available for vendors and business partners to get their name and information in front of a diverse group of retailers.

MRA's 2019 legislative reception held 4-23-19

Annual Legislative Reception

As part of our core mission to advocate on behalf of the retail industry we host an annual reception to connect retailers and legislators. This reception happens annually in late April and is catered by MRA members. The excellent food and conversation make it a can’t-miss event around the Capitol. MRA members are invited to attend and mix and mingle with legislators, legislative staff, regulators and others. It’s a great opportunity to help policymakers understand retail’s impact on the economy as well as the challenges retailers face and how policymakers can help.

The event is made possible by our generous sponsors. Michigan Retailers Association will return to our evening reception format in spring 2023 in downtown Lansing. For more information please contact MRA’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Amy Drumm at

Clinking glasses with alcohol and toasting, party

Retail's Night Out

MRA continued the tradition started by the Michigan Grocers Association of hosting an annual event for food retailers and suppliers to connect, learn more about policy and industry updates. Rechristened as the Food Retailers Summit in 2018, MRA members enjoyed popular networking activities including Euchre, Bocce and Cornhole tournaments.

In June 2022, MRA hosted Retail’s Night Out, a condensed and rebranded event, open to all MRA members. The downtown Lansing event included keynote speaker Shawna Suckow and two afternoon panel sessions at the Lansing Center followed by a reception and strolling dinner at the Lansing Brewing Company. We partnered with Cold Box Films to capture the day and create a video. Check out the video here to relive Retail’s Night Out. Thank you to our sponsors and those who attended.

Buy Nearby and Buy Nearby Weekend

While we celebrate the first weekend in October as the official Buy Nearby Weekend, every day is a great day to Buy Nearby. Buy Nearby Weekend is when we encourage Michigan residents to support their communities by shopping at their local stores rather than sending dollars to out-of-state, online retailers.

We also encourage communities to adopt their own Buy Nearby events on a schedule that works best for them. MRA offers support to communities and retailers looking to spread the word, find fun promotions, and get customers to take part in our shopping contest by posting photos on social media.

Learn more

Join us!

We hope you’re able to join us at one or several of the events listed above!